Anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a disease is called a risk factor; anything that decreases a person’s chance of developing a disease is called a protective factor. Some of the risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, although you can choose to quit smoking, you cannot choose which genes you have inherited from your parents.

  1. Both smoking and inheriting specific genes could be considered risk factors for certain kinds of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Prevention means avoiding the risk factors and increasing the protective factors that can be controlled so that the chance of developing cancer decreases.
  2. Give information on colorectal cancer and how often it occurs.
  3. Describe colorectal cancer prevention methods.
  4. Give current facts about which people or groups of people would most likely be helped by following colorectal cancer prevention methods.