About Colorectal Cancer
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Blood in the stool or in the toilet after having bowel movement
- Dark or black stools
- A change in bowel habits or the shape of the stool (e.g., more narrow than usual)
- Cramping or discomfort in the lower abdomen
- An urge to have a bowel movement when the bowel is empty
CRC Risk Factors
The American Cancer Society separates risks for developing Colorectal Cancer into two groups: factors you can change, factures you cannot change.1
Risk factors you can change
- Being overweight or obese
- Physical inactivity
- Diet – diet’s high in red meats (such as beef, pork, lamb, or liver) and processed meats (like hot dogs and some luncheon meats)
- Heavy alcohol use
Risk factors you cannot change
- Age – increases with age
- A personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
- A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
- Having family members who have had adenomatous polyps is also linked to a higher risk of colon cancer.
- Inherited syndrome - About 5% of people who develop colorectal cancer have inherited gene changes (mutations) that cause family cancer syndromes and can lead to them getting the disease.
- Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, or HNPCC)
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
- Rare inherited syndromes linked to colorectal cancer
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS):
- MYH-associated polyposis (MAP):
- Racial and ethnic background
- African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the US.
- Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have one of the highest colorectal cancer risks of any ethnic group in the world.
- Type 2 diabetes
1 For more information, visit the American Cancer Society web site on Colorectal cancer.