Colon Cancer Risk Factors

With many cancers, especially colon cancer, early detection can be the key to survival. This means that it is critically important to understand the risk factors associated with colon cancer and talk to your doctor if you believe you’re at risk.

Family History

If you or a family member has a history of colorectal cancer, the following guidelines can help you decide if you should seek further screening:

  • Colorectal cancer before age 50
  • Endometrial (uterine) cancer before age 50
  • Two or more Lynch Syndrome cancers (colorectal, endometrial, gastric, ovarian, ureter/renal, pelvis, biliary tract, small bowel, brain, sebaceous adenoma) in the same individual or among close relatives
  • At least 10 or more cumulative colorectal benign (non-cancerous) polyps
  • Colorectal cancer associated with multiple polyps

For more information, or to make an appointment with the Hereditary Risk Assessment Nurse Practitioner, call 860-358-2082.

Age

The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age, with more than 90% of cases occurring in people over the age of 50.

Behavioral Risk Factors

Lack of regular physical activity, obesity, alcohol and tobacco use, and a low-fiber, high-fat diet low in fruit and vegetable intake may all contribute to a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

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