Who is at Risk?

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  • While we do not know the exact cause of most colorectal cancer, there are certain known risk factors that increases a person’s chance of getting the disease.

    • Age: Though colorectal cancer may occur at any age, more than 90% of the patients are over age 50, at which point the risk doubles every ten years.
    • Having a history of polyps: Some types of polyps increase the risk of colorectal cancer, especially if they are large or if there are many of them.
    • Having a history of inflammatory bowel disease: Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease increase the risk of colon cancer. In these diseases, the colon is inflamed over a long period of time and there may be ulcers in its lining.
    • Family history of colorectal cancer: If you have close relatives who have had this cancer, your risk is increased. This is especially true if the family member got the cancer before age 60.
    • Diabetes: People with diabetes have a 30% to 40% increased chance of getting colorectal cancer.
    • Ethnic background and Race: Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have a higher rate of colon cancer as do African Americans. The reason for this is not known.
    • Smoking: Most people know that smoking causes lung cancer, but recent studies show that smokers are 30% to 40% more likely than nonsmokers to die of colorectal cancer.
    • Other factors: Lack of exercise, Obesity, Heavy Alcohol use and High-fat diet.

    Colon Cancer Facts and Figures.

    • Both men and women are at risk.
    • Ninety-three percent of cases occur in people aged 50 and older.
    • The risk of developing colon cancer increases with age.
    • In the United States someone will be diagnosed every four minutes.
    • One out of 18 people in the United States will develop colon cancer in their lifetime.

    Schedule a Consultation at Colorectal Surgical Associates

    If you are concerned that you may have colorectal cancer or want to learn more about it, please contact the Houston colorectal surgeons at the Colorectal Surgical Associates today for more information.