Colon cancer may have claimed the lives of millions of Americans to date, but it doesn’t have to determine your fate. Despite the rising prevalence of the disease, it is largely preventable—and even beatable, with early diagnosis and treatment.
That is why experts push harder to spread awareness of colon cancer, and encourage people to start getting routine screenings at age 45. The information provided below aims to help you get a better understanding of colon cancer by learning about its risk factors.
The Risk Factors for Colon Cancer
A risk factor is anything that increases your likelihood of developing a certain condition. Risk factors for colon cancer include genetics, inflammatory bowel disease, age, and diet and lifestyle, as outlined below:
- Family history- You are at higher risk of getting colon cancer if you have an immediate family member (parent, sibling, or child) who was or has been diagnosed with the condition.
- Advancing age- Your risk of getting colon cancer increases with age. Albeit younger people can also have it, it is most common among people ages 50 and older.
- Inflammatory bowel disease– Inflammatory conditions of the colon, namely Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, put you at a greater risk for colorectal cancer.
- Your diet and lifestyle- A diet high in red meats and low in fruits and vegetables, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and being overweight or obese all increase your likelihood of developing colon cancer.
It’s important to take note that even if colon cancer doesn’t run in your family, and you do not have any of the other risk factors, you can still get colon cancer. In fact, over 75 percent of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer do not have risk factors for the disease. Fortunately, colon cancer is one of those that can be caught early, compared to other cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, for which screening is not available.
Colon Cancer Screening in California
For colon cancer screening in California, visit us at inSite Digestive Health Care. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained gastroenterologists are dedicated to ensuring the best patient experience and the most reliable results.
When you come in for a consultation with one of our physicians, we will discuss all the options available for colon cancer screening and recommend the most suitable one for you based on your personal choice, general health, and risk for colon cancer.
If you have any questions about colon cancer screening or to schedule your appointment, call our GI clinic nearest you or use our convenient appointment request form. inSite Digestive Health Care has 20 affiliated private practices at which to serve you.