Fast Five Quiz: Colorectal Cancer Practice Essentials

Elwyn C. Cabebe, MD


June 17, 2022

Colorectal cancer is a multifactorial disease process. Genetic factors, environmental exposures (including diet), and inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract are all involved in the development of colorectal cancer.

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease increase the risk of developing colorectal adenocarcinoma. The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with the duration of inflammatory bowel disease and the greater extent of colon involvement.

Although much about colorectal cancer genetics remains unknown, current research indicates that genetic factors have the greatest correlation to colorectal cancer. Hereditary mutation of the APC gene is the cause of familial adenomatous polyposis in which affected individuals carry an almost 40% lifetime risk of developing colon cancer. Individuals with hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (Lynch syndrome) have up to an 80% lifetime risk for developing colorectal cancer; those with this syndrome are also at increased risk for urothelial cancer, endometrial cancer, and other less common cancers.

Estrogen/progestin replacement therapy has been associated with reduction in colorectal cancer risk.

Learn more about the etiology of colorectal cancer.


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