Colorectal cancer - risk factors

Colorectal cancer is the second most common type of cancer - about 70, 000 cases are diagnosed every year in Germany. He occurs increasingly from the age of 45 on. People who carry a hereditary risk, however, often get sick in much younger years.

Often symptomless for years

Colon cancer is a "silent killer" - over many years it shows no symptoms! If colon cancer manifests itself through discomfort, it is usually already too late for a cure because the cancer has often already affected the surrounding organs. That's why every year, 27, 000 people die from this disease - a number that can be significantly reduced with early detection.

Inherited - familial risk factors

It is now known that some of our genes are time bombs that can be passed on in the family. Almost a third of those affected have a family history and thus inherited their illness. Therefore, even with complete freedom from symptoms especially the people should go to CRC screening, the

  • have one or more first-degree family members (father, mother, sibling) diagnosed with colorectal or uterine cancer before the age of 45 (including young people!),
  • a first-degree related family member (father, mother, sibling) who has been diagnosed with one or more so-called adenomas or polyps (preforms of colon cancer) before the age of 40 (including young people!),
  • have two first-degree relatives or three related family members who have colorectal cancer or other cancers such as uterine, ovarian, gastric, small intestinal or bladder and ureteral cancers,
  • suffer for years from an inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis), which increases the risk of developing colon cancer in the long term.

Acquired - individual risk factors

The emergence of colon cancer additionally influenced by individual risk factors. A rule of thumb is that those people carry a heightened risk who

  • 50 years or older (altered genes due to aging processes)
  • on the one hand, a lot of meat and animal fats, on the other hand too little fruit, vegetables and a total of too little fiber
  • Pay little attention to physical activity and exercise less than twice a week for at least 30 minutes
  • are very overweight
  • smoke
  • drink alcohol regularly (more than a glass of beer, schnapps or wine every day)

People who have one or more of these points are at a significantly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer and should definitely take regular colorectal cancer screening.

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