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What increases my risk for stage 4 rectal cancer?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Your risk for rectal cancer can stem from genetics or a previous medical condition. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can put you at a higher risk for rectal cancer, so be sure to go through rectal cancer screenings recommended by your doctor. A tendency to develop polyps that can lead to rectal cancer can run in families, so tell your doctor if a family member has had either polyps, rectal cancer, or another cancer of the digestive tract. Some environmental factors can increase the risk of rectal cancer, too, such as eating too much fat and not enough fiber, smoking, or drinking too much alcohol. Additional risk factors include being over 50, an African American, or having had radiation therapy for a different cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.