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What are the Most Common Risk Factors for Bowel Cancer?

As part of our unique approach to digestive health, at OneWelbeck we take the treatment of bowel cancer as something which requires the utmost care and attention.

Bowel Cancer UK estimates that there are 42,000 new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed every year, and it is one of the most common cancer types in the UK. There are common causes which help specialists like the team at OneWelbeck be well equipped to diagnose and treat bowel cancer.

In this brief blog post, we wanted to give some insight into the risk factors of bowel cancer, and how you might go about getting screened before receiving treatment.

The most common risk factors of bowel cancer are:

  • Age
  • Family history
  • Genetic conditions
  • History of inflammatory or digestive problems
  • Diabetes
  • Lifestyle


Bowel cancer more common over the age of 50. However, if it occurs under the age of 50, then genetic factors may be playing a part.

Family History

If a relative has been diagnosed with bowel cancer, it is an indicator of other family members having a higher risk than normal. It is important too that if someone in your family under the age of 50 is diagnosed, all of the family should consider getting checked and potentially meeting with a genetics specialist.

Genetic conditions

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) are two inherited conditions a person can get which increase the risk of bowel risk. FAP can see the growth of non-cancerous polyps (which themselves have a risk of becoming cancerous), while someone with HNPCC (also known at Lynch’s Syndrome) inherits faulty genes which can cause the cancer.

History of inflammatory or digestive problems

You are at increased risk of bowel cancer if you have ulcerative colitis or Chron’s disease, and it is common for those individuals to have regular screening tests performed.


Type 2 diabetes may be shown to be a risk factor for many people diagnosed with bowel cancer. There is some belief that it is the fluctuation in insulin in the body over a long time which can be a risk factor, but research is not yet conclusive on why those with diabetes have a higher risk.


As is common with most diseases, the healthier you are, the more you can negate risk. Bowel cancer, like many other cancers, have a higher chance of prevention when you look after important lifestyle choices in your diet, body weight, exercise and the amount of alcohol or cigarettes consumed.

Getting screened for bowel cancer

OneWelbeck carries out bowel cancer screening. You can find out more information about getting a bowel cancer screening by visiting our bowel cancer information page.

Getting dedicated treatment

OneWelbeck can provide bowel cancer treatments after a patient has carried out the full screening process. Treatment plans are based on the size and location of the cancer, as well as which options our team believe will provide the best results.

In some instances, this may require surgery or radiotherapy, while sometimes new treatment options may be available. Again, more information is available on the bowel cancer page here.

 Get in touch

Are you looking to discuss bowel cancer with a specialist? Please get in touch with the team at OneWelbeck today.

Whether you are looking to make an appointment with our bowel cancer screening colonoscopists, or would care to discuss treatment paths, please get in touch with us by clicking here to leave a message.

You can also phone the clinic directly on 020 3653 2004.