Colon Cancer Risk Factors

  • Colon cancer occurs in both men and women, and in people from all races / ethnicities.
  • Most colon cancers occur in persons age 50 and older, but younger people can also get this disease.
  • The risk of colon cancer is increased if:
    • You or someone in your family has had colon polyps or colon cancer.
    • You or someone in your family has a hereditary colon cancer syndrome such as FAP or HNPCC.
    • You have had inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Men and women at average risk for colon cancer should start screening at age 50.
  • Men and women who have a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer, a personal or family history of a hereditary colon cancer syndrome, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease need to talk with their doctor about starting screening at a younger age.