10 Things That Can Increase Your Risk of Colon Cancer

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Having one, or even some, risk factors for colon cancer does not mean that you are guaranteed to have this disease. In general, the chances of getting colon cancer are only about 5 percent if you have medium risk factors. While some people affected by this disease may not have known risk factors.

What are the risk factors for colon cancer?

The following factors may increase a person's risk for colon cancer. But sometimes it can be very difficult to know how far certain risk factors for colon cancer can contribute to the development of cancer.

1. Age

The risk of colon cancer may increase with age. Colorectal cancer can occur in young people and adolescents, but more than 90% of colorectal cancers are experienced by elderly people, aka over 50 years of age. The average age of diagnosis is 72 years.

2. Gender

Men are slightly more at risk for colorectal cancer than women.

3. Family history related to cancer

In general, most colon cancers (about 95%) are considered sporadic, which means that gene changes occur by chance after a person is born. So there is no risk of reducing this gene change in her child. Inherited colorectal cancer is less common (about 5%) and is experienced when a gene mutation, or change, is passed on in the family from one generation to the next

Colon cancer can be lowered in the family if first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, siblings) and many other family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, nephews, cousins, and grandchildren) have colon cancer. This is especially true if family members are diagnosed with colon cancer before the age of 60 years.

If a person has a family history of colorectal cancer, the risk for this disease is almost twice as high as the average risk factor for other colon cancers. Your chances will also increase further if other close relatives are also affected by colorectal cancer.

It is important to talk with family members about a family history of colon cancer. If you think you may have a family history of colon cancer, consult a gene expert counselor first before undergoing a gene check. The only genetic test that can determine whether you have a gene mutation, and a trained gene counselor to explain the risks and benefits of gene testing.

4. Rare congenital condition

Family members with an uncommon congenital condition also have a significant increase in risk for colorectal cancer, as well as for other cancers. These include familial adenomatous poluposis (FAP), attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis (AFAP), Gardner's syndrome, Lynch syndrome, Juvenile Polyposis syndrome (PJS), and Turcot syndrome. Relatives of women with cervical cancer syndrome can also be more risky.

5. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

People with intestinal inflammation, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, may be exposed to chronic inflammation of the large intestine. Inflammation may increase the risk of colon cancer. However, IBD is not the same as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

6. Adenomatous polyps (adenomas)

Polyps are not cancer, but some types of polyps called adenomas tend to turn into colon cancer. Polyps can often be completely removed using a tool in a colonoscopy, a test where the doctor checks the colon using a thin tube after the patient is given a sedative.

Lifting the polyps can prevent colon cancer. People who have had adenoma are at higher risk for additional polyps and colon cancer, and they should undergo routine screening tests regularly.

7. Personal history related to certain types of cancer

People with a personal history of colon cancer and women who have had ovarian or uterine cancer are more likely to develop colon cancer.

8. Race

Blacks have the highest rates for colorectal cancer, sporosis, or acquisition, in the United States. Colon cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among blacks. Black men are even more likely to die from colorectal cancer than black women. In general, the rate of colon cancer cases in blacks is much higher than in other races. The reason for this difference is not clear.

9. Not physically active and obese

People who are living an inactive lifestyle, which means not exercising regularly and sitting a lot, and overweight people are more at risk for colorectal cancer.

10. Smoking

Recent research has shown that smokers are more likely to experience deaths from colorectal cancer than those who do not smoke.
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