The Inside Poop:
Who Gets Colon Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is NOT a disease of Old Farts.

It’s a disease of men and women, over 50 and under 50. You need to figure out your risk factors and talk to your doctor about getting screened.

1 in 14 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

But 8 in 10 are not getting screened.

Now that just doesn’t make sense. Don’t be an ass! Have someone examine yours!

Average Risk at Developing CRC

  • You are 50 years of age or older. (That’s right – just being 50 puts you at average risk.) 

Increased Risk

  • You have a family history of colon/rectal/bowel cancer.
  • You have had ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • You have had colorectal polyps.
  • You have had uterine, ovarian or inherited breast cancer.
  • You eat a lot of red meat and/or processed meat.
  • You are overweight and/or sedentary.
  • You are a heavy drinker or a smoker.
No family history of CRC 6.5%
One first-degree relative with colorectal polyps (parent, sibling, child) 10–17%
One first-degree relative with CRC 13–16%
One first-degree relative diagnosed with CRC before age 45 16–40%
More than one first-degree relative with CRC 20–40%

This chart represents your lifetime risk of developing CRC before you celebrate your 80th birthday. Your risk may be higher or lower depending on other factors, including your medical history, diet and lifestyle.

If you know that someone in your family HAS had colorectal cancer: 
You should have a colonoscopy 10 years earlier than the age at which your relative was first diagnosed. If, for instance, your father was diagnosed at 55, doctors recommend you get your first colonoscopy at 45.

Note: 75 per cent of cases of CRC show no known family history of the disease.

The Bottom Line: Talk to your doctor about which tests you need, and when, based on your family history and your individual risk factors.

Remember, in most cases, colorectal cancer that is caught at an early stage is curable.

Stories that will get you off your butt – Heather’s Story