Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
A risk factor is a condition or behavior that can increase the chances for getting a disease or serious medical disorder. Risk factors which increase a person’s chances of getting colorectal cancer include:
- Age older than 50 years
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Heavy alcohol use
- Prior personal history of colorectal cancer
- History of polyps (excluding non-precancerous polyps called hyperplastic polyps)
- History of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
- First degree relative (parent, sibling or child) who has had colorectal cancer or polyps, especially if they were younger than 60
- Two second degree relatives (Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle, or Cousin) with colorectal cancer
- Familial syndrome such as hereditary non-polyposis syndrome (also known as Lynch syndrome) or familial adenomatous polyposis (also known as Gardner’s syndrome).
There has been conflicting data regarding dietary factors that decrease the rate of colorectal cancer, but studies suggest that a diet that is low in animal fat and high in fiber may decrease the risk.
The patient’s first degree family members (parents, brothers, sisters, and children) should be made aware of the patient’s colorectal cancer diagnosis and those individuals should tell their physician in order to ensure appropriate colorectal cancer screening in hopes of preventing colorectal cancer in that person
For more information:
Go to the Colon Cancer health topic.