Colon Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention Measures

Through years of study, we have learned that certain factors can increase the risk of colon cancer. Having these risk factors does not guarantee a colon cancer diagnosis; however, having these risk factors means one has a higher risk of developing colon cancer. Such individuals should pay extra attention to their health, follow appropriate preventive measures, and opt for regular screening to put themselves a step ahead of colon cancer.

Most Common Colon Cancer Risk Factors

Some risk factors for colon cancer are controllable or lifestyle-related, while others are non-controllable or non-lifestyle-related. Lifestyle-related risk factors can be modified, while non-lifestyle-related factors cannot. The most common colon cancer risk factors include:

How to Prevent Colon Cancer

“How to avoid colon cancer?” or “How to prevent colon cancer?” is one question that oncologists around the world are asked every day.

The answer to this question is that there is no known way to prevent colon cancer. However, it is possible to reduce the risk of colon cancer with certain measures. The following measures are found to improve the chances of colon cancer prevention:

Who is at High Risk of Colon Cancer?

Colon carcinoma may develop in any person. However, some individuals are at increased risk of developing colon cancer. These include individuals with polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, radiation exposure, and inherited medical conditions such as Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Lynch syndrome, and familial adenomatous polyposis.


Colon cancer risk factors include older age, underlying medical conditions such as Lynch syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, a lack of physical activity, and radiation exposure. There are no measures for colon cancer prevention. However, some factors, such as the management of other medical conditions, maintaining a healthy weight, and performing adequate physical activity, may help reduce colon cancer risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Having a balanced diet is important to reduce your colon cancer risk. A balanced diet may also help colon cancer patients have better strength during their treatment.

A potential colon cancer prevention diet includes nuts, spinach, carrots, legumes, beans, cruciferous vegetables, and fiber-rich foods.

Yes. Consumption of processed meat, red meat, sugary beverages, and white bread increases the risk of colon cancer.

It is possible to reduce the risk of colon cancer recurrence by adhering to the follow-up guidelines shared by the expert team, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and effectively managing conditions like IBS, diabetes, obesity, etc.

100% colon cancer prevention is not possible as we do not know the exact cause of colon cancer. However, measures like quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, managing weight, and treating underlying medical conditions are found to increase the risk of colon cancer.

There are no specific fruits that can prevent colon cancer. However, a balanced diet comprising fresh fruits and vegetables helps reduce the risk of colon cancer.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Yes, foods such as red meat and processed meat increase the risk of colon cancer.

There is no way to prevent hereditary colon cancer. However, you may want to talk to a specialist who can assess the degree of risk you carry and recommend screening tests or other measures that can help you reduce your colon cancer risk.