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 in their 40s and younger.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.5,6
Rates of colorectal cancer are higher in African Americans compared with other races.7 This may be because fewer African Americans get screened for colorectal cancer.7
Number of New Cases of Colorectal Cancer by Race/Ethnicity and Sex1
- National Cancer Institute. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Cancer stat facts: colorectal cancer. https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/colorect.html. Accessed April 8, 2020.
- Siegel RL, Miller KD, Sauer AG, et al. Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2020. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020;0:1-20.
- Wolf AM, Fontham ET, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68(4):250-281.
- American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Accessed April 23, 2020.
- Mayo Clinic. Colonoscopy. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/colonoscopy/about/pac-20393569. Accessed April 23, 2020.
- American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2020. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2020/cancer-facts-and-figures-2020.pdf. Accessed March 23, 2020.
- American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans 2019-2021. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society Pub. No. 861419. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans/cancer-facts-and-figures-for-african-americans-2019-2021.pdf. Accessed March 25, 2020.