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Colorectal Cancer - Causes and Risk Factors

Factors that can increase the risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Older age – Colorectal cancer is often diagnosed in people aged 50 years and above. However, younger people can also be diagnosed with the cancer.
  • History of colorectal polyps or cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Family history of colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.
  • Diabetes - people with diabetes or insulin resistance are at increased risk of colon cancer.
  • A low-fibre, high fat diet
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Heavy use of alcohol

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