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Colon Cancer Risk Factors 

Many factors such as diet, genetic diseases, as well as family history of the disease can increase your risk of colon cancer. In fact, acknowledging these pathogenic factors help scientists to develop methods to prevent the disease. Some risks factors suspected in the development of colon cancer include:  

  • Environment - incidence of colon cancer is higher in developed countries: Western Europe, the USA and Australia.  
  • Age - almost 90% of colon cancer cases are registered among people over 50  
  • Sex - although the disease affects both men and women, men tend to be more victim of colon cancer; 
  • Certain intestinal diseases - some inflammatory bowel disorders such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis increase may contribute to the development of colon cancer.  
  • Diabetes – many studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetics are more susceptible to have colon cancer than non diabetics.   
  • Unhealthy diet - a diet rich in red meat, fried meats, salami, sausages, ham, etc. may increase the risk of colon cancer. The disease is less common in regions of the world where people eat little animal fat and many vegetable fibers. if you want to decrease your chances of colon cancer, it is necessary to eat lots of fruits and vegetables 
  • Obesity - being obese or overweight increases your risk of becoming a victim of several cancers, including esophageal cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer and renal cell cancer (kidney cancer). 
  • Smoking – smoking, include second hand smoke and chewing tobacco can implicate in the development of colon cancer. Your risk is higher if you started smoking at a young age.          
  • Family history - if your family has a history of colon cancer or polyps, you are at higher for having the disease. In fact, your chance is 35 times higher than other people to develop colon cancer if your parents suffer from it. 
  • Genetics – certain genetic medical conditions can lead to colon cancer. However, this is rare; over 75% of cases of colon cancer have nothing to do with familial predisposition. The two most common forms colon cancer that are related to genetic factors are hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (also called HNPCC or Lynch syndrome), accounts for approximately 5% of colon cancers; and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), involves in about 1% of all colon cancer cases.  
  • Alcohol – there is a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and cancers of the digestive tract and other organs of the body:  colon cancer, rectal cancer, esophageal cancer, laryngeal cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer, pharyngeal cancer, and even breast cancer. Moderate or occasional alcohol consumption presents no risk.  
  • Physical inactivity - in addition to cardiovascular disease and obesity, physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of colon cancer.  

 

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