What Are Colon Cancer Risk Factors?

There are many risk factors associated with colon cancer. Watch this video with expert Dr. George P. Kim to learn more and see if you’re at risk.

George P. Kim, MD:  So colon cancer is obviously cancer of the large bowel.  In the United States it’s about 140,000 patients per year and unfortunately about the third of those individuals are going to succumb to the disease.  It is number 3 in both male and females, but it is the second leading cause of cancer death.  Now what causes colon cancer, we are learning the risks are associated with age, as you get older in general, you are more prominent to cancers and certainly colon cancer falls into that category.  Gender is important.  Males are at greater risk than females.  Race is also important.  Unfortunately African-Americans are at higher risk.  We know that there are hereditary causes.  There are certain genetic syndromes that we will talk about and they are also within a given family.  If a family member has encountered colon cancer or other cancers in their lifetime, it’s certain other family members are also at risk.  Inflammatory conditions involving the bowel for example, Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis also place patients at risks.  If you had a previous polyp identified, you are at risk of developing colon cancer.  Tobacco is another cause or a risk factor.  We know the tobacco affects lung cancer risks, but it also affects other cancers, one of which is colon.  There is some data that suggest that alcohol is a risk factor.  Certain foods, certainly high fat, low fiber has been studied, obesity, sedentary lifestyles affect other cancers, but they also are risk factors for colon cancer and finally there is some data that suggests that patient had developed diabetes are also at risk.  So those are some of the risk factors and potential causes of colon cancer.

George P. Kim, MD is an Assistant Professor of Oncology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and is a consultant in the Department of Hematology and Oncology, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

****

This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk.  If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.


This information should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use the information provided on this site solely at your own risk. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a physician.

© 2022 Cancer Answers LLC