Colon cancer or colorectal cancer starts in the large intestine or in the rectum. It is treatable when caught early, but it’s still the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States.
Most colorectal cancers begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids, causing a tumor to form in the lining of the large intestine. Being aware of the risk factors, signs and symptoms of this cancer is important for prevention and early detection.
An early diagnosis can often lead to a complete cure, but there are several risk factors to be aware of. Risk factors include:
- Being overweight – being overweight or obese increases the risk of colorectal cancer in both men and women.
- Physical inactivity – increasing your level of physical activity lowers your risk. Regular to moderate exercise will help keep your heart and body healthy.
- Diet – Diets that are higher in fruits, vegetables and whole grains have been linked with a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Lowering your red and processed meat intake may also lower your risk.
- Alcohol – several studies have found a higher risk of colorectal cancer with increased alcohol intake, especially among men.
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