Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop colon cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease.
Studies have found the following risk factors for colorectal cancer:
- Family history
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- A high-fat diet
- A sedentary lifestyle
Because people who have had colon cancer once may develop it a second time, it is important to have checkups. Also, if a patient is diagnosed, they may be concerned that family members may develop the disease. People who think they may be at risk should talk with their healthcare provider. The provider may be able to suggest ways to reduce the risk and can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.
Keep in mind that while risk factors can increase an individual’s possibility of getting colon cancer, about 75 percent of those who are diagnosed with it have no family history and no apparent symptoms.