What Causes Colon Cancer

Colon cancer happens due to the abnormal growth of cells in the colon, which is the longest part of the large intestine.Colon cancer is also known as colorectal cancer.

The condition is characterized by the development of abnormal cells in the colon or rectum. The cells grow rapidly and uncontrollably, leading to tumor formation.
Researchers have not yet fully understood the true cause of colon cancer. It may be a result of factors like genetics, lifestyle, and environment combined.

Causes of colon cancer

Some potential factors that may contribute to the development of colon cancer are as follows:


Colon cancer can run in families. It may not be essentially passed down from parent to child, but inherited genetic mutations can potentiate the chances of developing it.

Genetic mutations may be passed down through generations, most probably in first-degree relatives. Families with a history of colon cancer are highly prone to this disease.

The possibility of getting colon cancer is significantly greater in case the individual has some genetic conditions.These conditions include familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, or HNPCC).

Family history

People with personal or family history of colorectal cancer are more susceptible to the risk of developing colon cancer.

Besides, those having a history of polyps or precancerous growths are also more likely to develop colon cancer.

The chances of colon cancer in families are high in first-degree relatives including parents, siblings, or children.


With an increasing age, the risk of colon cancer also increases. According to some sources, this type of cancer is mostly seen among individuals over the age of 50.

Although it can happen at any age, the rate of occurrence of colon cancer has been on the rise among younger adults in recent years.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Individuals experiencing some chronic inflammatory conditions of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are more prone to the risk of colon cancer.

Prolonged and persistent Inflammation can contribute to changes in the inner walls or linings of the colon.

An inflamed colon is susceptible to abnormal growth and development of cells, leading to the formation of tumors.

Obesity and lack of physical activity

Being physically inactive leads to weight gain and obesity. Obese individuals lead a sedentary lifestyle, which is associated with the risk factors for colon cancer and several other types of cancers.

It is essential to do some physical exercises to remain healthy and fit. Through regular physical activity, bowel movements happen regularly and the inflammation also gets reduced to a greater degree.

This will prevent weight gain and obesity. Individuals with a healthy weight are less likely to develop colon cancer.

Dietary factors

Certain types of diet can potentiate your risk of colon cancer. It is necessary to be aware of what you consume.

Foods such as processed meats, fruits, or vegetables low in fiber content, alcohol, sugary food or beverages, etc. can promote the development of cancerous growth in the colon.

It is necessary to avoid such foods and make your diet more fiber-rich.


Tobacco usage and smoking are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer as well as certain other types of cancers. Smoking and tobacco introduce the body to toxic substances that prove to be detrimental to overall health.

Such toxic substances contribute to damage to the inner walls or linings of the colon, which can lead to the development of cancer.

Excessive alcohol consumption

Individuals who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are more likely to develop colon cancer. This happens as alcohol contributes to the irritation of the inner linings of the colon and rectum.

The irritation in the walls of the colon affects the health of the cells and leads to abnormal cellular growth. This can cause the growth of cancerous tumors over time.

Seek timely treatment

It is necessary to acknowledge that not every individual with such risk factors will develop colon cancer. Certain factors listed above do potentiate the risk of the disease but it may not essentially lead to colon cancer in every individual.

Contrarily, individuals with no risk factors for colon cancer can still develop the disease. It is important to consult a healthcare provider who can suggest some diagnostic tests for evaluation and begin treatment on time.

To detect colon cancer, one has to undergo regular screening, which includes colonoscopies and stool tests. Early detection will reduce the damage and speed up the recovery time.







Leave a Reply

Add to cart