54% of bowel cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
Bowel cancer risk is associated with a number of risk factors.[2,3]
Bowel Cancer Risk Factors
|Increases risk ('sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence)||May increase risk ('limited' or 'probable' evidence)||Decreases risk ('sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence)||May decrease risk ('limited' or 'probable' evidence)|
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classifications.
a IARC classifies evidence on X radiation and gamma radiation as sufficient for colon and limited for rectum; b IARC classification does not specify sex, WCRF/AICR classifies evidence on alcoholic drinks as convincing for males and probable for females; c WCRF/AICR classifies the evidence on physical activity as stronger for colon than rectum
Use our interactive tool to explore risk factors for bowel cancer.
- Parkin DM, Boyd L, Walker LC. The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010. Summary and conclusions. Br J Cancer 2011; 105 (S2):S77-S81.
- International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 105*. Accessed December 2014.
- World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR; 2007.