Risk Factors and Screening
Risk factors for gastrointestinal cancers include:
- High-fat and high-salt diet
- Age over 50 increases
- Excessive alcohol use
- Family history of gastrointestinal cancer
- Having a disease that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal system, including cirrhosis or Crohn's disease
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Ethnic or racial background - African Americans and Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have a higher risk
- Beginning at age 50, men and women should have a routine preventive colonoscopy every 10 years to screen for colorectal cancer and remove any polyps. This procedure should be done sooner if they have a family history of colorectal cancer or personal history of inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
- Though not a routine screening for cancer, this procedure uses a small, flexible tube with light to see the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract to detect esophageal and stomach cancer.