Colon cancer causes, risk factors

  • Randy Gonzalez, a 35-year-old TikTok star, died of colon cancer. Research shows that it is on the rise among younger people.
  • Habits such as exercising and eating enough fiber can help prevent the disease, according to a doctor.
  • It is also important to get regular screenings, as genetics can also be an important factor.

Randy Gonzalez, part of a viral TikTok duo, has died of colon cancer at the age of 35. Gonzalez, along with his 7-year-old son, Brice, had built a popular social media channel known as Enkyboys.

He had announced his diagnosis in April 2022, telling his more than 15 million followers that he had stage 4 colon cancer and had been given two or three years to live.

Gonzalez died in hospice on Jan. 25, TMZ first reported.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

While most cases of colon cancer occur in people over the age of 50, the disease is increasing among younger people, in part because of some preventable risk factors, including diet.

Factors such as lifestyle, eating habits and family history all play a role in how susceptible you may be.

But not all factors in colon cancer are in your control, such as genetics and other health conditions, according to Dr. Austin Chiang, gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at Jefferson Health.

“The most well-defined risk factors are specific conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, inherited conditions such as Lynch syndrome, or a family history of colon cancer,” he told Insider. “But there are other things that can increase the risk such as smoking, frequent consumption of red meat and obesity.”

How to prevent colon cancer

Making healthy changes to your routine can help manage your risk, according to Anjee Davis, the president of Fight Colorectal Cancer, an advocacy organization for colon cancer patients.

“Getting screened for colon cancer is the most effective and important way to prevent it and reduce your risk. However, there are lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of polyps and colon cancer,” she told Insider.

Based on the latest evidence, eating more plant-based, high-fiber foods, cutting back on alcohol and red meat, and staying active may be helpful ways to ward off colon cancer, although some factors, such as genetics, may be out of your control.

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