Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with advancing age. More than 90 percent of cases occur in people aged 50 or older. Other risk factors include having:
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
- A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch Syndrome).
Lifestyle factors that may contribute to increased risk of colorectal cancer include:
- Lack of regular physical activity.
- Low fruit and vegetable intake.
- A low-fiber and high-fat diet.
- Overweight and obesity.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Tobacco use.
Don't wait for symptoms to occur.
Your doctor will tell you whether a simple at-home test or a colonoscopy is appropriate. Both are fully or partially covered by most medical insurance plans. If you can't afford a colorectal cancer screening, ask your provider or the South Dakota Department of Health — financial assistance may be available.