12 Risk Factors for Colon Cancer

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Colon cancer, the second leading cause of all cancerous deaths in USA, can be preventable if early detected. There are certain causes and risk factors for colon cancer. Let us know about them in detail.

Age: age is the biggest risk factor.  Colon cancer is rare in those under 40 years. The rate of colon cancers increases after 40 years.

Polyps: The benign growths such as polyps increase the risk.

Diet: High fat and cholesterol diet increases the risk. Low fiber diet has associated with increased risk.

Family history: If a family member like father, mother, brother and sister has had colorectal cancer or polyps the risk of developing colon cancer increases three to four times.

Diabetics: Diabetics are up to 40% more likely to develop colon cancer than those who don’t have diabetes.

Smoking: Smoking causes many health hazards. Long-term smoking increases the risk of either developing polyps or transporting carcinogens to the colon.

Genetics: Hereditary colon cancer syndromes like FAP, AFAP, HNPCC and MYH can increase the risk of getting colon cancer.

FAP: In Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, the affected persons will develop countless numbers of polyps starting during teens and are almost sure to develop colon cancer from these polyps unless the condition is detected and treated early. These persons will also have the risk of developing other cancers like thyroid, stomach and ampulla.

AFAP: In Attenuated Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, the affected persons will develop nearly 100 or less than 100 colon polyps and have higher risk of developing colon cancer at young ages. These persons will also have the risk of developing duodenal and gastric polyps.

HNPCC: In Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer, the affected persons can develop colon polyps and cancer in the right colon at the age of 30 or 40. These persons also have higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, stomach cancer and bladder cancer.

MAP: In MYH Associated Polyposis syndrome, the affected person can develop 10-100 polyps at the age of 40 years and has high risk of developing colon cancer.

Environment: Environment plays a big part in developing colon cancer. Where do you live, what is your occupation, when do you work… all these factors influence the risk of developing colon cancer.

Some dietary suggestions for those who are at risk of developing colon cancer:

  • Add more fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Take high fiber diet.
  • Black raspberries are very helpful in preventing colon cancer. So add them in your diet.
  • Studies show that vitamin D can protect against colon cancer. If one gets adequate exposure to the sun, the body can manufacture vitamin D. Instead of taking vitamin D supplements, this is the best way of getting vitamin D naturally.
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