Colorectal cancer risk factors

Colorectal cancer risk factors
(Image: © National Cancer Institute/Unsplash)

Colorectal cancer risk factors. Despite advances in medicine that have made it possible to understand better the mechanisms of cancer development, the causes of colorectal cancer are not fully understood.

Most cancers appear to be the result of a complex set of factors, such as heredity, lifestyle choices, or exposure to substances that cause cancer (called carcinogens).

Any condition or substance that increases the risk of getting cancer is called a risk factor.

We define three risk levels of developing colorectal cancer: medium, high, or very high. Each level of risk has appropriate monitoring recommendations.

1. People at a medium level of colorectal cancer risk factors

Men and women over the age of 50 are considered to be at medium risk for developing colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is indeed very rare before 40 years old. The risk increases from the age of 50. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 70 years.

A follow-up based on performing a stool blood test every two years as part of the national organized screening program.

2. People at a high level of colorectal cancer risk factors

  • People who have had colorectal cancer or an adenoma larger than one centimeter.
  • Persons with a first-degree relative (father, mother, brother, sister, child) who had colorectal cancer or an adenoma larger than one centimeter before age 65, and those with two parents regardless of age at diagnosis.
  • Those with chronic inflammatory bowel disease extended at the time of diagnosis and evolving for more than 10 years.

A follow-up consists of regular colonoscopy.

Related: What are the colorectal cancer symptoms?

3. People at a very high level of colorectal cancer

  • People with familial adenomatous polyposis (PAF). PAF is a genetic disorder that manifests as hundreds of polyps in the colon as early as adolescence. The risk of having cancer is almost systematic if no preventive treatment is provided.
  • Others with Lynch syndrome (or HNPCC). Lynch syndrome is caused by several types of genetic abnormalities, which are manifested by the occurrence of cancers of the colon, rectum, or other organs (endometrium in particular).

The follow-up based on oncogenetic consultations and regular chromocoloscopy.

Find out the colorectal cancer treatment in our next articles.

Originally published on Live Positively.