Find out if your lifestyle choices are actually risk factors for this particular cancer.
Colorectal cancer refers to malignant tumors that develop in the colon or the rectum, parts of the large intestine and is the second most deadly cancer in the US. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so learn more about your risk so you can care of yourself. Several risk factors increase your chance of developing the disease, such as:
Smoking. Tobacco products can lead to more cancers than lung cancer. When smoke from cigarettes clings to food, it makes its way to the large intestine and can affect the size of the tumor.
Inflammatory bowel disease. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, both types of inflammatory bowel disease, may influence the development of colorectal cancer, especially if the condition is not treated. If you have one of these conditions, it's important to visit your physician, receive a screening and discuss ways to restore your intestinal health.
A sedentary lifestyle. A slower metabolism impedes the large intestine's processes, causing toxic substances to accumulate there. If you are obese, your risk is even higher.
An unhealthy diet. Processed and red meats, grilled and smoked products have been linked to colorectal cancer in studies. People who eat foods believed to fight cancer, such as colorful fruits and vegetables successfully lower their risk.
Family members who have colorectal cancer. You can't change your genes, but you can make the choice to know everything about your family history and then consult your physician. Did any grandparents, aunts or uncles have it? The more you know, the more decisions you can make to stay in control of your health.
Age. Although younger people also can develop colorectal cancer, your chances rise after 50. That's why it's essential to schedule a colonoscopy every 10 years.
Get screened today. To learn more about your risk, visit the Colorectal Cancer Awareness website. Central Florida Regional Hospital's state-of-the-art Cancer Care Center can help you take the driver's seat when it comes to your colorectal health. For more information, please call (407) 302-7308.