Women who smoke are at twice the risk of developing cancer of the rectum and the risk goes up with the increase in number of cigarettes smoked per day, duration of smoking and older age at smoking cessation.

Women should never smoke. Current smokers are 95% more likely to develop rectal cancer. Younger adults can develop colorectal cancer; however the odds increase remarkably after 50 years of age. Over 9 out of 10 people with colorectal cancer are above 50.

A history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas), especially if they are large, increases the risk of cancer.

If someone has had colorectal cancer, even if it has been completely removed, the person is more likely to develop new cancers in other areas of the colon and rectum. The odds are higher if they have had their first colorectal cancer at a younger age.

Though the no. 1 cancer in women in urban areas is breast cancer and in rural areas is cancer of the cervix, cancer of the rectum is on the rise.