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Colorectal Cancer Risk Management

Learn about national guidelines and options for colorectal cancer screening and prevention.

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Colorectal Cancer > Risk Management Options

Colorectal Cancer Risk Management

Everyone is at risk for colorectal cancer; the risk increases with age. The average lifetime risk for colorectal cancer is about 4 percent. This means that 1 in every 25 people will get colorectal cancer in their lifetime, usually after age 60. People with an inherited mutation in one of the genes listed below have a higher-than-average risk of developing colorectal cancer, often at a younger age. 

Genes with Colorectal Cancer Risk-Management Guidelines

Genetic counseling and testing can help you learn if you have an inherited mutation in one of these genes. There are different expert guidelines for colorectal cancer risk management, which are based on your level of risk. Speak with your healthcare provider to decide on a risk-management plan and schedule that is right for you. 

See below for more information about different risk-management options.

In the News

Red flags for colorectal cancer in young adults

Article: Red flags for colorectal cancer in young adults

The rate of colorectal cancer in young adults has been increasing. Researchers in this study identified four signs or “red flags” for colorectal cancer before age 50 (considered to be early onset colorectal cancer). Recognizing...

Risk-Management Options


Most colorectal cancers start as an abnormal growth known as a polyp. The goal of screening is to find and remove growths before they can turn into cancer. Early detection can help improve a person’s chance of surviving colorectal cancer.

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Medications to Reduce Risk

Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer in people with an increased risk of cancer.  

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Surgery to Reduce Risk

Colectomy is surgery that removes some or all of the colon. People with a very high risk for colorectal cancer may choose to have colectomy to lower their risk. Read about the guidelines and different types of surgery options.

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Last updated February 13, 2024