Colorectal cancer affects both men and women. You can check to see if your risk may be higher than others by checking these factors:
More than 90% of the time, colorectal cancer occurs in adults older than 45.1 However, colorectal cancer rates are rising in people younger than 45.2 Ask your doctor when you should begin screening. Even if you have no other risk factors, regular screening should begin when you turn 45.3
Having inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, or an abnormal colonoscopy in the past also may increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer.1,2
Rates of colorectal cancer are higher in African Americans compared with other races.4 This may be because fewer African Americans get screened for colorectal cancer.4
Number of New Cases of Colorectal Cancer by Race/Ethnicity and Sex5
- Colorectal cancer: risk factors and prevention. Cancer.Net website. http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/risk-factors-and-prevention. Accessed January 22, 2018.
- Cancer Facts & Figures 2017. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2017. American Cancer Society Pub. No. 500817. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2017/cancer-facts-and-figures-2017.pdf. Accessed January 22, 2018.
- Wolf AM, Fontham ET, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guideline update from the American Cancer Society [published online ahead of print May 29, 2018]. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018. doi: 10.3322/caac.21457.
- Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2016-2018. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2016. American Cancer Society Pub. No. 861416. http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@editorial/documents/document/acspc-047403.pdf. Accessed January 22, 2018.
- SEER Stat Facts: Colon and Rectum Cancer. National Cancer Institute website. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/colorect.html. Accessed January 22, 2018.