Bowel cancer causes and risk factors

Here, we look at what different factors can increase your risk of developing bowel cancer. By being aware of all the risk factors, you are in a better position to help prevent bowel cancer from developing.

What causes bowel cancer to develop?

There are many risk factors that have been linked to bowel cancer. Some are lifestyle factors, such as your diet which you can modify, by making some changes to what you eat. However, there are other risk factors that are out of your control, but worth being aware of.

Lifestyle factors

There are some lifestyle factors that we control that can contribute to your risk of bowel cancer and also any other type of cancer. These are diet, physical activity, weight, alcohol intake and smoking.

Non-lifestyle factors

Unfortunately, there are some factors out of our control that can increase our risk of bowel cancer. These factors include age, medical conditions, family history and previous bowel cancer diagnosis.

Find out what your risk of cancer is

There are many risk factors to take into consideration when it comes to your risk of cancer. Score yourself on each and find out how healthy your lifestyle is and areas you could improve.

> Check your risk

What can you do to reduce these risk factors?

We know there’s a number of risk factors to be aware of when it comes to your risk of bowel cancer, however there are everyday changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle that will help lower your risk.

Through our Global Cancer Update Programme, we created our Cancer Prevention Recommendations. Our ‘package’ of Recommendations can help reduce your risk of cancer, including bowel cancer.

> Reduce your risk of bowel cancer

You can also order a copy of our booklet Protect yourself from bowel cancer booklet

Bowel Cancer Causes and Risks FAQs