Colon Cancer: Know Your Risk

Each year, roughly 140,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer. Colon cancer develops when abnormal growths called polyps form in the colon or rectum. Over time, these growths can turn into cancer. But, when polyps are detected early on, they can be removed before cancer develops. Additionally, when cancerous polyps are caught early, treatment is more likely to be successful.

Although colon cancer can affect anyone, genetics, lifestyle habits, and medical history can all increase your risk.

  • Age. Individuals over 50, are at increased risk for all types of cancer, including colon cancer. As you get older, be sure to speak with your doctor about what screenings are appropriate for you.
  • Diet. Low fiber, high fat diets have been shown to increase your risk of developing colon cancer. Eating red meats and processed meats often has also been linked to colon cancer. Eating a heart healthy diet, rich in vegetables and whole grains can help decrease your risk of developing colon cancer, as well as many other chronic conditions.
  • Alcohol and Tobacco Use. Tobacco use, even infrequent use, significantly increases your risk of all cancers. Additionally, moderate to heavy drinking has also been found to lead to colon cancer.
  • Weight. Not only does your weight affect your risk of colon cancer, it increases your likelihood of dying from cancer. Carrying excess weight on your body can also affect your treatment options.

Through the Fund, you have coverage for in-network preventive care screenings. Be sure to speak to your doctor about what screenings and tests are right for you. For more information about your preventive care benefits or to find a provider, visit the Preventive Care page.


  • Local94 Image

Need to Find a Doctor, Dentist or Vision Specialist?

Find a Provider