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The Role of Inflammation in Colon Cancer

According to The Canadian Cancer Society, Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada. It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and the third leading cause of death from cancer in women in Canada.[1] Research suggests that environmental factors such as poor dietary habits, tobacco-smoking, and lack of physical activity are considered risks for CRC.

Inflammation is emerging as one of the hallmarks of cancer, yet its role in most tumors remains unclear.  It is well known that patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at higher risk of CRC. Inflammatory molecules help bias normal cells toward tumor cell growth, proliferation and invasion.[2,3]

Up to 90 percent of CRC is preventable with timely and thorough testing or screening. You can also help to reduce your risk of this disease by working with your trusted healthcare professional to implement healthy lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation.

Common Risk Factors:

  • Age
  • Personal History of Colorectal Polyps
  • Personal History of Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Family history of Colorectal Cancer
  • Poor Diet*
  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Type II Diabetes*
  • Obesity*
  • Smoking*
  • Severe Alcohol Consumption*

*Associated with increased inflammation

Talk to your healthcare professional today about screening options available to you and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk for CRC.



1. Colon Cancer Canada. Fast Facts on Colorectal Cancer (CRC). Accessed 02/27/2018.

2. N. Janakiram, C. Rao. The Role of Inflammation in Colon Cancer. AdvExp Med Biol. 2014;816:25-52. doi: 10.1007/978-3-0348-0837-8_2.

3. J. Terzic, S. Grivennikov, E. Karin, M. Karin. Inflammation and Colon Cancer. Gastroenterology. May 2010. 138:2101-2114.https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2010.01.058