Do you have risk factors for colorectal cancer? Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than others. Knowing your risks will help you and your MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center doctor make the best health choices for you.

If you are at risk for colon cancer, schedule an appointment for a colorectal cancer screening. Regular cancer screenings, especially after the age of 50, are the key to colorectal cancer prevention.

Shweta Kurian, MD, medical oncologist, explains colorectal cancer risk factors and ways to reduce your risk in the video below: 

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that affects your chances of developing a disease like colorectal cancer. Many risk factors can increase your chances of developing colorectal cancer, such as your medical history and family history or your lifestyle choices. Some of the risk factors for colorectal cancer, such as smoking and alcohol use are lifestyle choices and can be changed. However, risk factors such as your age and family history of cancer cannot.

Having a risk factor, or several of them, doesn’t mean that you will get the disease. In fact, many people who develop colon or rectal cancer don’t have any known risk factors.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

  • Age - Most colorectal cancers are found in people over 50.
  • Race or background - African-American or Jewish with Eastern European backgrounds are at a higher risk.
  • Medical history - People with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease , Type 2 diabetes or previous cancers have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
  • Family medical history - Close family members with colorectal cancer, as well as some conditions, passed down through families, raise the risk.
  • Lifestyle - The links between diet, weight and exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any cancer. Some evidence suggests that colorectal cancer may be associated with a diet that is high in fat and calories and low in foods with fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use

If you have any of these colorectal cancer risk factors, talk to your MedStar doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce your risk, especially lifestyle factors that you can change, like smoking and alcohol consumption.

Learn more about colorectal cancer, including treatments provided by MedStar Franklin Square:

Location Information

For a physician referral, please call 443-777-7900.

For more information about our clinical trials, please call 443-777-7364.

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Cancer Institute
9103 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

Learn about all MedStar Health Baltimore Cancer Network colorectal cancer treatment locations 

Colorectal Cancer Specialists 

Jeffrey Ferris, MD, colorectal cancer surgeon

Learn More