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Colon Cancer Causes & Risk Factors

The exact causes of colon cancer are still unclear, however, there are some known risk factors. Risk factors are not really the colon cancers' causes but they affect the chance of getting the disease. It is not necessary that having a risk factor means the person will surely suffer from colon cancer. There have been several cases of colon cancer where person did not have any known risk factor but have developed the disease. It is actually difficult to determine how the risk factors develop the disease.

Colon Cancer Causes & Risk Factors

The actual cause of colon cancer is the rapid growth of altered cells (cancerous cells). Other common causes vary from person to person depending on several factors. However, there are certain risk factors everyone should be aware of.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

  • Age

    Statistics show that majority of people suffering from colon cancer are older than 50, though the younger people are also diagnosed with the disease, but the ratio of occurrence is much lesser.

  • Diet

    The studies show that people who indulge in excessive consumption of red and processed meat are at higher risk of getting the colon cancer. In other words, meals with high animal fat and cholesterol could be the major reason of the colon cancer. Diet high in fiber can be helpful to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

  • Personal history of colorectal cancer or polyps

    Medical history of polyps, intestinal inflammation or cancers can impact the chances of developing colon cancer.

  • Smoking and alcohol

    Long-term smoking can be the reason of the colon cancer. The inhalation of tobacco smoke transports carcinogens to the bowel and the use of tobacco increase the size of polyp.

  • Obesity

    People who have exceeded the recommended weight come in the obese category. These people have the higher risk of having the colon cancer than the people with normal weight.

  • Gender

    The gender is also a risk factor of colon cancer, as it is seen that the males have higher rate of suffering from colon cancer than the females.

  • Family history and genetics

    The studies suggest that 25% of the colon cases had the family history of colon cancer. The mutation leading to familial adenomatous polyposis and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer are one of the major genetic cause of colon cancer.

  • Polyps

    Polyps in the colon are the main reason of colon cancer, as they develop from the adenomatous polyps in the bowel. A personal or family history of polyps increase the risk of colon cancer.

  • Inflammatory colon disease

    Continuous inflammatory disease of the intestine for example, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, raises the risk of colon cancer. In other words, the older the inflammatory intestinal conditions, the greater would be the risk of colon cancer.

To live healthy & happy, one must keep a check on the body’s functioning by going for regular health checkups. This helps in assessing risk factors and diagnosing diseases at an early stage, which will result in effective treatment and better management of the condition.


Know your complete health status by full body checkup packages designed and facilitated by Indus Health Plus, the preventive checkup specialist.


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