5 Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

There are a number of traits and conditions known as risk factors that can increase your risk for developing colorectal cancer.  Having a risk factor does not guarantee you will develop cancer of the colon and the absence of any risk factors does not ensure that you will not develop cancer of the colon.  However, knowledge of these risk factors and discussing them with your doctor or health care provider can lead to the prevention or early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

1.  Age.  People age 50 and older have a greater risk for developing colorectal cancer.

Polyps inside the human colon

2.  Family History.  A history of cancer of the colon or rectum among family members (primarily mother, father, sisters or brothers) will increase your risk for developing colorectal cancer.  Other hereditary conditions like hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (also called HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome) and familial adenomatous polyposis can increase your risk for developing cancer.

3.  Chronic conditions.  A personal history of chronic conditions such as Chron’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis  can increase your risk for developing cancer.

4.  Polyps.  A personal history of polyps (or small clusters of tissue bulging into the opening of the colon) can be an early sign of colorectal cancer.

5. Previous bout with cancer.  A personal history of cancer of the colon, rectum, ovary, endometrium (lining of the uterus) or breast can also make you more susceptible to a recurring diagnosis of cancer.

Discussing your family and previous medical history with your doctor is essential.  They use this information to appropriately assess your risk for colorectal cancer and determine the appropriate lab tests and screening procedures to prevent cancer or diagnose it as early as possible.

Source:  Colon Cancer Treatment (PDQ).  National Cancer Institute. National Institutes of Health.
2 Responses to “5 Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer”
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  1. […] June is Men’s Health Month.  The month when fathers and surrogate fathers are recognized for all that they do is also an ideal time to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.  After all, the most powerful thing any father can do is maintain good health so that they will have many more Father’s Days to share with their family.  Follow these links below to articles we’ve previously posted on enBloom that are relvent to the health of men and boys. 5 Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer […]

  2. Thanks so much for writing this post to increase awareness for HNPCC […] 5 Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer (enbloommedia.com) […]

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