There are several factors which raise the risk of colon cancer:
- Family history of colon cancer
- Family history of colon polyps
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease ( Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis)
- Personal history of a genetic syndrome associated with colon cancer
- Receiving abdominal radiation as a child
- HIV infection
Globally, the incidence of colon cancer varies over 10-fold. The highest incidence rates are in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America, and the lowest rates are found in Africa and South-Central Asia. We think these differences are due to differences in diet and environment, but also underlying genetic factors.
In the United States, the lifetime incidence of colon cancer in patients at average risk has been estimated to be approximately 4 percent. Colon cancer rates are also around 25 percent higher in men than in women.