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Cancer Risk Assessment for Stomach/ Colon Cancer

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. These cells begin to accumulate to form tumours. Tumours could be benign or cancerous. When these abnormal cells grow in stomach or colon region, it is called stomach/ colon cancer. There are some screening procedures for colon cancer and other cancer risk assessment tools that could help with cancer prediction.

Stomach cancer and Colon cancer

Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer. Stomach cancer and colon cancer are different cancers. Their symptoms, outlooks and treatments also vary.

According to a new study, the same type of bacteria that causes stomach cancer may also increase the risk of colon cancer. This is particularly true in certain populations, such as African Americans.

There are several types of stomach and colon cancers – of them, adenocarcinoma the common one to occur. Adenocarcinoma accounts for 90-95% of stomach cancers in people. In colon cancer diagnoses, it is found that adenocarcinoma starts in the mucus-secreting glands. Gastric (stomach) cancer occurs in the cells that line the stomach.

Risk Factors

The cause of both stomach and colon cancers are unknown. However, both cancers share familiarity in their symptoms.

Stomach Cancer Risk Factors

  • Gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD)
  • Obesity
  • Diet with high salt intake
  • Unbalanced diet with less or no fruits & vegetables
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Long-term stomach inflammation (gastritis)
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol usage
  • Stomach polyps

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

  • Obesity
  • Older age (majorly among people who are above 50)
  • A personal history or family history or colorectal cancer
  • Polyps
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Radiation therapy for cancer
  • Sometimes ethnicity (African-American race)

Common genes responsible for stomach and colon cancer

Some of the gene alterations found to be involved in stomach cancer are:

  • Most commonly associated with Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC) is called CDH1
  • Other genes: CTNNA1

Some of the gene alterations responsible for colon cancer are:

  • MSH2 and MSH6 both on chromosome 2
  • MLH1 on chromosome 3

Assessment of Stomach and Colon Cancer Risk

Individuals with any of the risk factors mentioned above should consider the cancer assessment. Both the cancers have three assessment tests in common, these include:

  • Detailed family history analysis
  • Genetic tests for any gene alterations
  • Personal history

There is no standard or routine screening test for stomach cancer. However, upper endoscopy (also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD) is the test most often done if your healthcare provider thinks you might have stomach cancer.

The screening tests that can be performed to assess the colorectal cancer risk include:

  • Stool Tests
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (Individuals with cancer risk should get tested – every 5 or 10 years)
  • Colonoscopy (Test Frequency: every 10 years)
  • CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy) (Test Frequency: every 5 years)

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FAQ's :

Is colon cancer hereditary?
Most colon cancers are without a family history. 3-5% of colon cancers as a result of inherited syndrome. People with a history of colon cancer in a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) are at increased risk.
Can genetic testing predict in colon cancer?
Yes, colon cancer can be detected with genetic testing. It predicts and identify family history details.
Does stomach cancer run in families?
Yes, people with first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) who have already had stomach cancer are more likely to develop this disease. Still, most stomach cancers do not have a family history.
What genes are associated with gastric cancer?
The gene most commonly associated with Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC) is called CDH1. A mutation (alteration) in the CDH1 gene increases risk of developing gastric cancer and other cancers associated with HDGC.



  1. What Is Stomach Cancer? Cancer. Accessed on May 30, 2022
  1. Colorectal cancer: Types. Stanford Health. Accessed on May 30, 2022
  1. Stomach Cancer. Rare Diseases. Accessed on May 30, 2022
  1. Colon cancer. Mayo Clinic. Accessed on May 30, 2022
  1. Stomach cancer. Mayo Clinic. Accessed on May 30, 2022
  1. The Colorectal cancer risk assessment tool. National Cancer Institute. Accessed on May 30, 2022
  1. Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed on May 30, 2022

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