There are many factors that increase your risk for colon cancer such as obesity, a high-fat diet and sedentary lifestyle. It would be logical to assume, then, that having a normal body weight would not put you at risk for colon cancer.
According to Health Day News, however, this is not the case, especially for women. Women who have normal body weight may be at increased risk for colon cancer if they exhibit certain traits like elevated levels of blood fat, high blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, and low levels of good cholesterol.
A recent study involved normal-weight, post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79. It was discovered that if women possessed the specific metabolic risk factors stated above, they had a 49 percent increased risk for cancers of the colon, rectum and sigmoid colon (the lower part of the intestine that joins the rectum and colon), compared to women who did not have the metabolic risk factors.
Currently, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommends that all men and women who are at average risk for colon cancer have a screening colonoscopy every ten years between the ages of 50 and 75. The results from this recent study challenge the status quo of basing colon screening on age. If individuals are identified by metabolic type, this could revolutionize how and when people are screened for colon cancer. The implications could be significant: early screening for high-risk individuals could mean early detection, colon cancer prevention and more lives being saved.
It seems reasonable that the results of the study would apply to younger women as well, and even men, but more research needs to be done to make further conclusions. What is clear is that there are many factors beyond age and body weight that affect the development of colon cancer (Source: Web MD).