There are no known causes of bowel cancer but there have been a number of risk factors that have been identified which increase the likelihood of developing the disease.
- If you have a family history of bowel cancer or polyps
- If you have inflammatory bowel disease
- If you have primarily long term ulcerative colitis but also some instances of Crohn's disease
- If you consume a diet high in fat it is believed to be a contributory factor in the development of bowel cancer
- World Health Organisation says a diet high in processed and red meats (bacon, sausages, deli meats) is a contributory factor to bowel cancer.
Bowel Cancer Prevention
Lifestyle factors may contribute to the development of bowel cancer so to lower the risks the following lifestyle changes should help:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Take regular exercise
- Eating a diet rich in whole grains, cereals, fruit and vegetables
- Reducing intake of fats, salt and sugars
- Stop smoking
- Reduce/stop your alcohol intake
Bowel cancer develops slowly and if caught early enough can be confined to parts of the bowel and removed.
If you are over the age of 50, being screened every year with a home-based screening kit will help detect any changes.