Inherited and “familial” factors that influence colon cancer:
If you have a first-degree relative (a parent, child or sibling) who has colon cancer, your risk of colon cancer is almost double that of the general population. The most common types of familial colon cancer include Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and Lynch Syndrome. These conditions make up 5% of the causes of colon cancer.
Other risk factors for colon cancer include those with inflammatory bowel disease such as Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Low Vitamin D has also been associated with an increased risk.
Protective factors that may decrease your risk of colon cancer include regular physical activity, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and a high-fiber diet. Omega 3 fish oil has also been associated with a decrease risk of colon cancer. Dietary folic acid, Vitamin B6, calcium and garlic may also provide some protection. Aspirin and NSAID’s may also protect against polyps of the colon as well as colon cancer.
Colon cancer screening saves lives.
Consistent and regular screening will reduce your risk of developing colon cancer up to 90%. If colon cancer is detected early, the chance of a successful treatment and long-term survival is substantial.
In the early stages of colon cancer, you may not experience any symptoms. However if you experience any of these symptoms you should alert your health care provider: