News & Tips

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month: Risk Factors

Although the exact cause of bowel cancer is unknown, there are certain factors that may increase your risk.

Gender and age

Bowel cancer affects both men and women. In the UK, around 95% of cases occur in people over the age of 50

Family history

People with a first degree relative (such as mother, father, brother, sister, child) under 45 or with two or more first degree relatives with bowel cancer may be considered for further testing

Diet and lifestyle

An inactive lifestyle and a poor diet that is low in fresh fruit and vegetables may increase the risk of bowel cancer. A high intake of red and processed meat, smoking and excess alcohol may increase the risk

Other conditions

People with diabetes, a history of Crohn’s disease in the large bowel, or ulcerative colitis, or who have had previous polyps removed, may also be at an increased risk.

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