In this video, Mark S. Friedman, MD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses genetic and environmental risk factors that may increase the risk for developing colon cancer.
“What we know of now is there’s typically a combination of both genetic and environmental factors that may predispose one to colon cancer,” he said. “Some of these factors are important factors that actually influence screening recommendations that we have, [while] others are notable associated factors but…do not change how we screen people in the community.”
Friedman mentions that an average risk individual should be screened beginning at the age of 50, however certain disorders – such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – may force an individual to be screened at an earlier age.
Friedman also highlights protective measures individuals may take to reduce their risk for developing colon cancer.
Protective measures Friedman discusses include regularly taking part in physical activity and having a diet that is high in fiber.
“By altering some of the lifestyle changes and being very conscientious of patients who have any kind of genetic risk factor, our goal is to continue to provide effective screening and actually prevent colon cancer before it develops,” he says.