What causes colon cancer? Risk factors for both rectal and bowel cancers are varied from aging to the kind of diet you have. However, experts believe that lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet are the most important causes of colon cancer. These lifestyle habits encourage polyps to grow in the walls of your bowel or rectum which can become malignant.
Age is one of the risk factors. If you are above 50 years old, a malignant tumor is more likely to grow in your colon. In fact, ninety percent of cases are diagnosed among those who are more than 50 years old.
However, there are also people below 50 years old who have been diagnosed with polyp growth and even cancer itself.
2. Family History
Colorectal tumor can run in your family. Having first degree relatives who have been diagnosed with the disease gives you a lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.
If you know you're a candidate for it because of your family's history with it, be more proactive with your health. Try to learn what you need to do to protect yourself.
Five percent of bowel tumor cases are due to hereditary cancers syndrome. Meaning, it is very possible for a person to inherit genetic mutations from one or both of your parents. These DNA mutations may lead to formation of polyps.
If you have the hereditary tumor genes, you are very likely to develop large number of polyps in your bowel at a young age. You also face a very high risk of developing the disease early in life. Unfortunately, inheriting the mutations also puts you at risk for the other types of tumor.
4. High-fat diet
Basically, what do you usually eat? A diet that is high in saturated fats (especially from red meat) is positively linked to the growth of polyps in the bowel. 80% of the disease are considered sporadic cancers -- one of the basic kinds of cancer. They are mainly due to a somatic mutation.
This is also why you should do colon cleansing every now and then. This is important especially if colorectal cancer runs in your family and your diet is unhealthy.
The presence of precancerous polyps in either the bowel or the rectum is what causes colon cancer to develop. That is why removing all polyps including those that are benign is important. They should be removed surgically to prevent them from becoming cancerous.
6. Personal Tumor History
Surviving colorectal cancer in the past doesn't give you immunity for it. You still face a higher risk of having it the second time around compared to someone who didn't go through the ordeal. And if you have a history of either breast, ovarian or endometrial cancer, it makes you more susceptible to it. Unfair but it's the hard truth.
7. Chronic Ulcerative Colitis
Chronic ulcerative colitis is also known as Crohn's disease. It is the inflammation of the inner lining of your bowel. This condition can result to complication and eventually, to tumor development. If you experience persistent or frequent ulcerative colitis, have yourself checked for any malignancy.
Being fat has many health disadvantages. Tumors in the bowel develop more frequently among obese men and women. Breast and prostate cancers are also some of the negative effects of obesity.
9. Cigarette smoking
It's not only lung cancer that smoking causes. If you smoke, you have a higher risk of developing polyps in your bowel and may lead to what causes colon cancer. Smoking also exposes you to harmful chemicals that can lead to leukemia.
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