Colon Cancer Risk Factors

Area of colon with cancerThere are various risk factors for colon cancer. A risk factor is defined as something that will increase the possibility of you being diagnosed with this disease.

For each type of cancer within the human body, there are different risk factors. For example, the presence of certain micro-organisms can increase a woman’s chances of being diagnosed with cervical cancer.

In colon cancer, these risk factors have also been identified, and the person who has a high risk factor, or a combination of risk factors in their life should take precautions to ensure their colon is healthy.

The first risk factor in determining if someone is prone to developing colon cancer is their age. Colon cancer is usually diagnosed in people over the age of fifty. At least eighty to ninety percent of the people diagnosed with this disease have reached the age of fifty. This is why campaigns to ensure early detection of colon cancer target people who are over the age of fifty.

Another risk factor for colon cancer is having colon polyps. It was previously mentioned that a certain type of colon polyp will increase your chance of being diagnosed with colon cancer. Therefore, your risk of this disease increases if your doctor or health professional says to you that you have adenomatous colon polyps. If the polyps are numerous and large in size, then this will also increase your risk factor for colon cancer.

Another risk factor that is quite well known is a previous history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This includes conditions such as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis. An IBD causes the lining of the colon to be inflamed, and as a chronic condition, this can damage the intestine possibly leading to cancer.

However, one of the biggest risk factors for someone developing colon cancer is a family history of this disease. Your chance of getting colon cancer increases if a close relative such as parent or sibling has been diagnosed with the disease.