Is colorectal cancer a lifestyle disease ?

One kind of cancer that affects the colon or rectum is colorectal cancer. These are components of the digestive system, which is in charge of nutrient absorption and food digestion.


Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The good news is that it is also one of the most preventable cancers, with early detection and treatment leading to a high survival rate.

There are two main types of colorectal cancer:

  • Colon cancer: This cancer starts in the colon, which is the long, tube-shaped organ that connects the small intestine to the rectum.
  • Rectal cancer: This cancer starts in the rectum, which is the short, last part of the digestive system before the anus.

Colorectal cancer usually starts as small growths called polyps. Polyps are either benign or noncancerous or malignant cancerous. Over time, some malignant polyps can turn into cancer.


Symptoms of colorectal cancer can include:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or a change in stool shape
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain

It is important to see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms, especially if you are 50 or older.

Factors that increase the risk of colorectal cancer:

  • Age: The risk of colorectal cancer increases as you get older.
  • Family history: A family history of colorectal cancer increases risk.
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease: People with inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, are at an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Diet: A diet high in red meat, processed meat, and low in fiber may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity may increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Below health tips will help to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer:

  • Eat a healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Limit your intake of red meat and processed meat.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Get regular screenings for colorectal cancer, starting at age 45.

Screening for colorectal cancer is important because it can help detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.


Below mentioned are few of the several types of screening tests available to detect colorectal cancer:

  • Colonoscopy: This is the most common type of screening test for colorectal cancer. It involves inserting a long, flexible tube with a camera into the rectum and colon to look for polyps or cancer.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: This is a similar test to a colonoscopy, but it only examines the lower part of the colon and rectum.
  • Fecal occult blood test: This test checks for blood in the stool, which can be a sign of colorectal cancer.
  • Fecal immunochemical test: This is a newer test that is more sensitive than the fecal occult blood test.

Deaths from colorectal cancer

When the figures for men and women are combined, colorectal cancer ranks as the second most prevalent cause of cancer-related fatalities in the United States, ranking third among cancer-related deaths in both sexes. In 2023, it is anticipated to result in roughly 52,550 fatalities.

For several decades, colorectal cancer has been associated with a declining death rate in both men and women. There are several plausible explanations for this. One is that screening has made it more common to detect colorectal polyps, which are then removed before they become malignancies. Additionally, many colorectal tumors are discovered sooner because to screening, making treatment more likely at this point. Furthermore, during the past few decades, colorectal cancer treatments have improved.

If you are at an increased risk of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about the best screening test for you.

Treatment for colorectal cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. Early-stage cancer can often be cured with surgery. Later-stage cancer may require surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Colorectal cancer is a serious disease, but it is also one that can be prevented and treated. By making healthy lifestyle choices and getting regular screenings, you can reduce your risk of developing this cancer.

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