Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is the cancer of the large intestine or colon. In most cases of colon cancer, it all starts with adenomatous polyps, which are noncancerous initially but can eventually cause the condition at a later stage. In case of adenomatous polyps, there are not many obvious signs, which is why it is often hard to detect colon cancer. It is advised that people over the age of 50 should consider getting screened for colon cancer at least once in 10 years. If you have the condition, you may require to see a colon cancer specialist, who will decide the line of treatment. In this post, we will decode the common risk factors for colon cancer.
- A vast number of colon cancer cases are seen in people over the age of 50. That’s precisely while screening is so important. While age is not always a factor, it does work as a risk factor.
- People of African-Americans are at a higher risk of colon cancer, and screenings are usually recommended by the age of 45.
- Medical history. If you suffered from colon cancer in the past or have a history of colorectal polyps, you are at a higher risk of the condition.
- Diseases. Certain diseases, especially intestinal conditions, can increase risk of colon cancer. This includes Crohn’s disease and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Family history. If you have a history of colon cancer in the family, you may suffer from the condition. Inherited syndromes are known to be risk factors, especially some like Lynch syndrome. Please note that it is not necessary to get colon cancer just because someone in the family had it, but it implies that the person is at a higher risk.
- Doctors now know that a diet that’s low on fiber can put people on the riskier side. Lifestyle factors, including lack of exercise, can also increase risk of colon cancer.
- Other factors. Diabetes and obesity have been linked to colon cancer in some studies. Smoking is also considered as a risk factor, and alcohol is also on the list. The use of radiation therapy around the abdomen for other treatments are also treated as a risk factor.
Get screened for color cancer, because it can be treated at an early stage without any complications. Talk to your doctor, who can help you decide if the symptoms and concerns require medical attention.