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Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors & Prevention

  • March 14,2022
  • 1 Min Read
Colorectal Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors & Prevention

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a cancer of the colon or rectum, which are parts of the large intestine.

It is the 4th most common cancer in men & 

5th most common cancer in women in India.*

(*IARC Global Cancer Observatory Data 2020)


Symptoms of colorectal cancer:

Colorectal cancer often develops without symptoms. 

When they occur, symptoms may include: 

  • Blood in the stool, rectal bleeding
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness and/or fatigue

Most cases of colorectal cancer occur in people ages 45 years and older, but the disease is increasingly affecting younger people.

Risk factors of colorectal cancer:

While anyone can develop colorectal cancer, a few conditions can increase risk such as: 

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
  • A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)
  • Poor lifestyle, dietary habits, obesity, and lack of physical activity.


Prevention of colorectal cancer:

There are some things you can do to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, for instance:

  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Eat a healthy diet – rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in red meat and processed meats
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy body weight



Screening is the No. 1 way to prevent or detect this disease early when it's most treatable.


How to screen for colorectal cancer?

There are 2 major screening tests for colorectal cancer:



When to start screening for cancer?

The most effective way to reduce your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened routinely, beginning at the age of 45 years.