In case you missed previous articles, find them here:
Part 1– polyps Part 2– Risks Part 3 – invasive & non-invasive screening options
Here in this final installment of this 4-part series on colonoscopies, we’ll discuss taking care of your colon, and your overall health, suggestions to do your very best to prevent colon cancer.
The risk factors for colon cancer, or any other form of cancer, can be divided into two categories: fixed and variable.
Fixed factors: things you CAN’T change:
Age: The risk of colon cancer is higher in persons over 50 years old.
Race: African-Americans are at higher risk of colon cancer.
Genetic risks: Inherited syndromes are responsible for a small number of colon cancers.
Family history of colon cancer: If you have a first degree family member who has had colon cancer, your risk is increased. First degree family member is a parent or a sibling. About 20% of all colorectal cancers are in persons who have a close relative with colorectal cancer.
Personal history of advanced forms of inflammatory bowel conditions (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc).
Personal history of many benign or cancerous polyps removed. This is evidence of an unhealthy colon so it increases the risk of progressing to full-blown cancer.
Genetic specialists estimate that between 5 and 10 in every 100 cancers (5 to 10%) diagnosed are linked to an inherited faulty or mutated gene. More than 75% of colon and rectal cancers occur in people with no known risk factors, which is why regular non-invasive, simple screening is important, as discussed in Part 3 of this series….