Personal history. Research shows that women who have a history of ovarian, uterine, or breast cancer have a somewhat higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. A person who already has had colorectal cancer may develop the disease a second time, especially if the first disease was diagnosed before the age of 60. In addition, people who have chronic inflammatory conditions of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease , are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. Family history. Parents, siblings, and children of a person who has had colorectal cancer are more likely to develop colorectal cancer themselves. If two or more family members have had colorectal cancer, the risk increases to about 20%.A family history of familial adenomatous polyposis, MYH associated polyposis, or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer, (HNPCC), increases the risk of colon cancer development. HNPCC also increases the risk for other cancers . Diet. A diet high in fat and cholesterol and low in fiber has been linked to a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer. Lifestyle factors. You may be at increased risk for developing colorectal cancer if you drink alcohol, smoke, don’t get enough exercise, and if you are overweight. Diabetes. People with diabetes have a 30% to 40% increased risk of developing colon cancer. Race. The highest incidence of colorectal cancer is in African-American men and women.
Latest research examines colorectal cancer risk factors
Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the third most common in men. Studies found that patients prefer colonscopy over computed tomography colonography, despite the former’s more invasive nature, and highlight the importance of a patient’s experience and role in the process of colonoscopy. Other research assesses the benefits of colorectal cancer screening for the elderly and persons with type II diabetes, and indicates a prevalence rate for pre-cancerous adenoma (benign tumor or polyp) that is higher than previously thought. “These findings could affect thinking about who should be screened for colorectal cancer and how, as well as when,” said John Petrini, MD, FASGE, FACP, Sansum Clinic, Santa Barbara, CA. “Findings like these are critically important since early detection is the key to reducing colorectal cancer deaths.” DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians and researchers in the field of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Patient Satisfaction and Preferences: Colonoscopy or Computed Tomography Colonography for Colorectal Cancer Screening (Abstract #445) Patients in a recent study were more satisfied with colonoscopy than computed tomography colonography (CTC), even though CTC is less invasive and takes less time than colonoscopy, according to new research from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Patient satisfaction is believed to be an important factor in determining uptake and compliance with any screening test, so investigators sought to compare patient satisfaction following both CTC and colonoscopy. Researchers led by Greg Rosenfeld, MD, at the University of British Columbia, conducted a study comparing same-day CTC and colonoscopy among 90 subjects aged 50 and older who were at average risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). Overall, patients felt that colonoscopy was more satisfactory they were less anxious with colonoscopy than with CTC and reported that, although their pain was adequately controlled in both procedures, there was less pain during colonoscopy. Typically, a colonoscopy is approximately 30 minutes and a CTC is five to 10 minutes in duration. Dr. Rosenfeld said researchers were surprised by the findings. Investigators expected patients to prefer CTC due to its shorter duration, minimal discomfort and the lack of requirement for sedation; patients were not restricted from activities such as driving after CTC, as is necessary after a colonoscopy performed under sedation.