Am I at Risk?

Who gets colorectal cancer?

Anyone can get colorectal cancer. Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer for men and women combined (except for skin cancers), and it is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. It is expected to cause more than 51,000 deaths in 2019. More than 101,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with colon cancer each year, and more than 44,000 are diagnosed with rectal cancer.

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Can people under 45 get colorectal cancer?

In general, it is very uncommon for younger people to get colorectal cancer if there is no family history and if the person is under 30.

However, there are two well-recognized hereditary syndromes in which cancer can develop in young people. The first is Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). This is a disease in which affected people develop hundreds to thousands of precancerous polyps in the colon. Unless the colon is removed, 100% of these patients will get colorectal cancer, usually by their late 30s. 

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Hereditary Syndromes 

There are two well-recognized hereditary syndromes in which cancer can develop in young people. The first is Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). This is a disease in which affected people develop hundreds to thousands of precancerous polyps in the colon. Unless the colon is removed, 100% of these patients will get colorectal cancer, usually by their late 30s. The disease is inherited directly from an affected parent (autosomal dominant inheritance), and the average age for polyp development in this syndrome is the mid-teens. 

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Prevention 

There are many things you can do to decrease your risk of colorectal cancer. Click the link below to find out. 

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Who's at Risk for Colon Cancer?

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has produced educational videos for patients to learn about endoscopic procedures and the conditions they are used to diagnose and treat.