Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get colon cancer and not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer, it simply means that you are at greater risk than normal to develop the cancer.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include the following:
- Having a family history of colon cancer in a first degree relative (parent, sibling, or child).
- Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease)
- Having a personal history of previous colon, rectal, or ovarian cancer.
- Having inherited changes in certain genes associated with familial colon cancer and polyposis syndromes.
- Lynch syndrome
- Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
- More than 3 drinks of alcohol per day.
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