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Colorectal Cancer: Factors and Prevention


Cancer is a serious healthcare concern both in the US and across the world. It is crucial to understand the specific prevention measures that can help individuals mitigate the risks of developing this condition. This approach is difficult to execute because most cancers do not present apparent symptoms in the early stages of development, resulting in a need for regular screenings. This paper focuses on colorectal cancer, factors this impacts it, and approaches to prevention.

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Firstly, it is necessary to develop the specific characteristic that distinguishes the disease in question. The American Cancer Society defines Colorectal Cancer as a condition that affects either a colon or the rectum (“What is colorectal cancer?” 2018). The most common subtype diagnosed in the US is adenocarcinomas, which begins as a polyp in the lining of the colon. After some time, the polyp may transform and grow into becoming cancer.

According to Arnold et al. (2017), the specific type of cancer in question will result in “2.2 million new cases and 1.1 million deaths by 2030” (p. 683). Therefore, it is crucial to determine measures that can help individuals prevent colorectal cancer, which will be discussed in the next section of this paper.

The healthcare providers across the country offer screening methods that help identify whether an individual is at risk of developing this type of cancer. The following approaches can help diagnose the condition – “colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, computed tomography colonography, the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test, the fecal immunochemical test, the multitargeted stool DNA test, and the methylated SEPT9 DNA” (US Preventive Services Task Force et al., 2016, p. 2564).

While these methods have several risks, healthcare establishments consider them effective in identifying polyps that may be dangerous. US Preventive Services Task Force et al. (2016) state that most hospitals in the US neglect using these approaches. However, individuals over the age of fifty should participate in colorectal cancer screenings. This is because the risks of developing the condition increase with age, while early diagnosis can help treat this cancer type effectively.

Additionally, one can assess the risk factors and monitor them to lower the chances of developing colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society states that there is no particular measure that can protect a person from this disease, however, an individual’s body weight together with physical activity and food habits can affect the health outcomes (“Can colorectal cancer be prevented?” 2018). Some vitamins and foods can help improve one’s condition and decrease the risks, however, screening is the only approach to diagnosing the condition and should not be overlooked.

Factors Affecting Colorectal Cancer

The specifics of colorectal cancer provide an understanding of one crucial factor that patients should be aware of – nutrition, which is a result of one’s behavior.

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Firstly, the two factors that affect the development of this condition will be considered – behavior and gender. In regards to the first component, as was previously mentioned, regular physical activity, healthy body weight, and adequate food habits can help reduce the risk. According to Song, Garrett, and Chan (2015), “calcium, fiber, milk, and whole-grain” meals can help one lower the risk (p. 1244).

Also, consuming specific products can increase the possibility of developing this cancer, for instance, red or processed meat. Moreover, avoiding alcohol and smoking can be helpful in prevention as well. This component implies that people with adverse behavioral habits should be screened for colorectal cancer more often than those leading a healthy lifestyle to ensure proper prevention.

The second factor is significant for women because according to the American Cancer Society they can avoid the risk by taking menopause medications such as estrogen or other hormones (“Can colorectal cancer be prevented?” 2018).

This approach is not signified as a specific measure against this condition and can have adverse outcomes in cases where individuals already have tumors. Additionally, Kim et al. (2015) state that women have a higher risk of dying from this condition when compared to men. More specifically, females often develop more aggressive tumors, such as proximal colon cancer, which results in difficulties when treating the condition. Therefore, women should pay particular attention to their health and undergo colorectal screenings.


In cases when colorectal cancer was diagnosed a healthcare professional chooses an appropriate intervention method, depending on the stage of development. According to Arnold et al. (2017), early detection and removal of polyps remain to be the primary approach to successful treatment of this cancer. Additionally, while chemotherapy is a widely accepted approach, recent studies show that targeted therapy has less significant side effects and can be more effective. In the long term, these options in combination with surgery or chemotherapy can help treat the condition fully. The short term impact is displayed in less significant side effects, which may include headaches, fatigue, nausea, and others.


Overall, colorectal cancer is a serious disease that is estimated to affect many individuals in the US by 2030. The primary approach to preventing it is regular screenings through one of the methods described in the paper. Additionally, assessing risk factors such as weight and behavioral factors can help mitigate the risk of developing this cancer. Finally, there is a connection between colorectal illnesses and gender.


Arnold, M., Sierra, M. S., Laversanne, M., Soerjomataram, I., Jemal, A., & Bray, F. (2017). Global patterns and trends in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Gut, 66, 683-691. Web.

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Can colorectal cancer be prevented? (2018). Web.

Kim, S. E., Paik, H. Y., Yoon, H., Lee, J. E., Kim, N., & Sung, M. K. (2015). Sex- and gender-specific disparities in colorectal cancer risk. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 21(17), 5167-75. Web.

Song, M., Garrett, W. S., & Chan, A. T. (2015). Nutrients, foods, and colorectal cancer prevention. Gastroenterology, 148(6), 1244-1260. Web.

US Preventive Services Task Force, Bibbins-Domingo, K., Grossman, D. C., Curry, S. J., Davidson, K. W., Epling, J. W., … Siu, A. L. (2016). Screening for colorectal cancer: US preventive Services Task Force Recommendation statement. JAMA, 315(23), 2564-2575. Web.

What is colorectal cancer? (2018). Web.

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