News from Illinois CancerCare

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Key Risk Factors

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diets high in red meats (i.e. beef, pork, lamb ) and processed meats (i.e. hot dogs, luncheon meats)
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Age – risk for colorectal cancer increases as you age
  • History of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
  • Lynch Syndrome – an inherited condition that increases your risk of colon cancer and many other cancers

Often those who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer experience no signs or symptoms associated with the disease.

How to lower your risk

  • Get screened for colorectal cancer
  • Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Get regular exercise & maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid alcohol


With on-time screening and testing, colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable!

  • Begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45
  • Several screening tests are available – some that can be done in the privacy of your own home
    • Stool based tests (every 1-3 years): looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool
    • Visual exams (every 5-10 years): looks for abnormal areas inside the colon and rectum