March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Are You at Risk?

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Are You at Risk?

Summit Medical Group ( wants people to be aware of their risk for colorectal cancer. Even if a person has a risk factor or several risk factors for colorectal cancer, there is no guarantee that he or she will get the disease. In addition, some people will get colorectal cancer even if they have no known risk factors for it. For these reasons and because early detection and treatment is critical for successfully treating the disease, it's important to be screened.

"All people by age 50 are at average risk for colorectal cancer," according to Dr. Farshad Abir, colorectal surgeon at Summit Medical Group. "If a person has inflammatory bowel disease or other risk factors for colorectal cancer, he or she should begin screening at an earlier age."

Some common risk factors that can increase odds for developing colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer include:

o Age

More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in people age 50 years or more

o Eating a diet high in saturated fat that includes a large percentage of red and processed meats as well as meats that are cooked at very high temperatures through frying, broiling, and grilling

Researchers believe chemicals in red and processed meats and chemical changes in meats cooked at very high temperatures increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

o Obesity

Studies show an increased risk of colorectal cancer in people who are obese

o Personal history of colorectal polyps

Having many as well as large polyps increase colorectal cancer risk

o Personal history of colorectal cancer

Previous colon cancer increases the odds it will recur in the colon and rectum

o Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease

These conditions alter the cells in the lining of the colon, sometimes leading to cancer o Family history of colorectal cancer Although most colorectal cancers occur in people with no family history of the disease, research shows that 1 in 5 people with colorectal cancer have a family member who has or has had the disease

o Being physically inactive

The relationship between lack of physical activity and colorectal cancer is unknown, but researchers speculate that physical activity helps prevent obesity, a risk factor for colorectal cancer. In addition, cellular changes and other body processes that benefit from physical activity might help prevent colorectal cancer in some people

o Smoking

The risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer is greater in long-term smokers, especially men, compared with people who do not smoke

o Excessive alcohol consumption (more than 2 drinks per day for men and more than 1 drink per day for women)

Researchers believe that low folic acid levels in heavy drinkers might contribute to higher colorectal cancer rates

Other risk factors include:

o Inherited familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)

Approximately 1% of colorectal cancers are found in people with a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene

o Inherited nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)

Also known as Lynch syndrome, HNPCC accounts for 3% to 4% of all colorectal cancers

o Juvenile Polyposis syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome

Rare and inherited, these syndromes increase a person's risk of adenomatous polyps and colorectal cancer

o Being African American or of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish descent

Genetic mutations increase the risk of colorectal cancer in people with these racial/ethnic backgrounds

o Having type 2 (noninsulin dependent) diabetes

Although researchers are unsure about the exact cause, the increased incidence of colorectal cancer in people with type 2 diabetes might be associated with excess weight. Some people with type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer also have a less favorable prognosis after they are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. If you have type 2 diabetes, ask your gastroenterologist how often you should be screened for colorectal cancer

o Personal history of treatment for cancer of any kind

Studies show that people who have been treated for certain cancers have higher rates of colorectal cancer. In particular, radiation treatment might increase a person's risk of developing colorectal cancer

Men and women who meet the risk criteria should ask a physician about their risk for colorectal cancer, what test might be right and how often they should be screened.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Christopher Rinaldi for Town Council - Leadership, Judgement, Experience

May 17, 2018

My name is Christopher Rinaldi.  As a long-time member of the Republican Party, I am running in the Republican Primary on June 5th for Township Council and Republican Municipal Committee of Berkeley Heights.

As a follow-up to my Candidate Statements from the last two weeks, I would like to share with you a few areas of direct work experience garnered over the past 25 years that I believe ...

Redevelopment: Taking the First Step Together While Protecting Berkeley Heights

Redevelopment. It’s something that takes careful planning, foresight, the ability to negotiate for the most favorable outcome, and, of course, patience. I’m proud to say that we’ve been able to reach all of these milestones. Tomorrow, on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, we as a community will take the first step together in the culmination of these efforts, when the ...

I am Proud to be Your Mayor

Honesty and results. Those two principles characterize my service to our community for the last nine years. I served on Town Council for four years and have been your Mayor for five years. I appreciate the opportunity to serve you and our community, steering it in a positive direction. During this time, I have learned about our Town, identified areas for improvement and been privileged ...

Rain Didn't Dampen Our Vision for Art in the Park

May 21, 2018

The rain did not dampen our vision for Art in the Park!! Columbia Middle School was transformed into an art paradise, filled with an array of artists whose talents are nothing short of magical! The Peppertown Park Art in the Park Committee would like to thank all of the artists who came to our very first Art in the Park event. We are in awe of your creativity and immeasurable talents! You all ...

Taxes up, Services down.....At least someone is listening

Do you feel as if you are getting good services from the town for what you pay in property taxes? I don’t, and wanted to thank the one Council person who voted NO on this year’s municipal budget which will increase your taxes by more than 3 percent, exceeding the cap.  Thank you, Susan Poage, for listening to taxpayers.

When our Mayor grants raises by executive order ...

Who Is Dmitriy?

Who Is Dmitriy?

That is the question I asked myself in the past year or two. I first chanced across him online in community conversation. When an issue seemed to go nowhere, people starting to get ugly and nasty, personal attacks escalating, in would pop Dmitriy and with one comment, he could sum things up. He based his  opinion on information he knew, coupled with what he could glean ...

Berkeley Heights Community Pool Set to Open May 26!

May 21, 2018

Tired of the rain and ready for the sun? We sure are! The Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA is slated to open during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend on May 26! With only one month until summer starts, swimmers can get a headstart jump into the pool during our pre-season opening! 

Join the Berkeley Heights Community Pool at the YMCA today—there are no joining fees, and ...

Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel Presents Special Women’s program


Mountain Ridge Bible Chapel, 763 Mountain Avenue, Berkeley Heights, is very pleased to host a unique free seminar for women on Saturday June 2, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

The speaker will be Doctor Ruth Schwertfeger of Brookfield, Wisconsin. Ruth was born in Northern Ireland, is a retired Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She speaks several languages, and ...

Kids Can Change The World

Karen De La Maza is the founder of “Kids Can Change The World”, a program designed to instill humane values in children while developing essential life skills and positive leadership. Karen and her family relocated to NJ from her native Mexico City in 2008 for her husband’s job.

Karen has always had a strong passion for helping people in need. With ten years of experience in ...

Racing to the Finish and Supporting Cancer Survivors


MAY 13, 2018 SUNDAY | BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ—On May 13, the Summit Area YMCA welcomed over 1,000 participants to the 17th Annual Mother’s Day 5K Run/Walk at Memorial Field, in Berkeley Heights. This family-friendly event also hosted a fun magic show, invigorating Zumba dancing, a tot trot, face painting and music.

Matthew Byrne of Berkeley Heights won first place ...

Fallout Continues from Lawsuit Against Mountainside; Police Chief on Administrative Leave

May 19, 2018

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – Police Chief Allan Attanasio is the latest member of the police department to suffer repercussions from a complaint filed against the borough on May 11.  Attanasio, who is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, was “placed on administrative leave,” on Thursday by Borough Administrator and former Police Chief James Debbie, said  Lt. Joseph ...

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, May 21, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness


Mon, May 21, 7:30 PM

New Providence

Marijuana: Decriminalize? Legalize?

Health & Wellness

Thu, May 24, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 2:00 PM

New Providence

Memoir Writing Workshops @ NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, May 31, 11:30 AM

Canoe Brook Country Club, Summit

Fortnightly Club Scholarship Luncheon

Food & Drink Giving Back

Don’t Make These Three Mistakes About Social Security

Social Security has been around for decades and it’s not about to disappear. Why? Social Security is not an entitlement ("gift") that can be taken away - it’s a forced savings scheme that Americans pay into in their working years in order to secure a pension for life. Ideally, Social Security should not be your sole source of income in retirement but even comfortable ...