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Risk factors for colon cancer

Ask the important Questions

Talking with your patients during the intake exam about their risk factors and family history is one of the best ways to assess if your patient is at risk for colon cancer and due for screening.


  • Anyone over age 50 should be screened;
  • African Americans should be screened at age 45

Medical History

  • Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease or other inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Polyps, growths inside the colon and rectum that may become cancerous
  • Family history of colon cancer or polyps
  • Growth hormone disorder
  • Radiation therapy for cancer


  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • A high-fat diet
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol