2016-06-16 17:24:51 UTC

Colorectal Cancer (CRC) 103: Risk Factors

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You may be at normal or greater risk for colorectal cancer, based on your age, personal medical history and family medical history. 

You are at normal risk for colorectal cancer if you are age 50 or older and have none of these risk factors:

  • Have had colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps before.
    • A polyp is a mushroom-like growth on the inside wall of the colon or rectum. Polyps grow slowly over many years. Some polyps become cancerous; others do not.
  • Have had one or more parent, brother or sister, or child who has had colorectal cancer or polyps. 
  • Have had family members with cancers, such as colorectal cancer or cancer in the uterus, ovary or other organs.
  • Have (or have had) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
  • Have Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer), which does not have a large number of polyps as a warning sign but often involves a family history of colorectal cancer among multiple family members in many generations. 
  • Have a syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), which leads to hundreds of polyps in the colon or rectum during the teen years; often one of these grows into cancer by age 30.

Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and when it is best to start screening.

 

© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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