Your Risk

Who's at risk

* Older people - like most cancers, it affects us as we get older - 9 out of 10 people are diagnosed over 50
* Family history -1 in 10 families is affected (see Family History) and some families have genes which strongly predispose them to bowel cancer, like FAP and HNPCC
* Already had bowel cancer/polyps - you may be at increased risk and should be monitored – ask your GP why if this is not happening
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease - ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease can slightly increase your risk of getting bowel cancer – get advice if you are not being monitored
* Couch potatoes - people who don’t get enough exercise may be at increased risk - walking lots and other exercise can decrease risk
* Being fat - the obese get more bowel cancers - especially men
* Your diet - eating lots of red meat, processed and barbecued meats is thought to increase your chances; lots of veg and fruit, wholemeal breads/pastas, can help your body stay healthier
* Smoking and drinking - heavy drinking is linked to bowel cancer, smoking can also increase your risk