WHO IS AT RISK?
Colon cancer may occur at any age, in any person. More than 90% of the people are over 40 years old, at which point the risk doubles very 10 years.
Other risk factors include a family history of colon polyps or cancer, and a personal history of colon polyps or cancer, ulcerative colitis, cancer of the breast or uterus.
HOW DOES IT START?
Colon cancer starts off as benign (non cancerous) polyps. Some of these polyps can change into cancer. Removal of all benign polyps is the best preventative treatments that really work!
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Unfortunately, polyps and early cancers have no specific symptoms. If there are symptoms, the most common is a change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea). There may also be rectal bleeding or abdominal bloating.
Because there are no specific symptoms, a screening colonoscopy is done at the age of 50. For individuals who are at greater risk (family member, other cancers etc), a screening colonoscopy is done earlier (about 40 years old).