The term sporadic colon cancer simply means colon cancer that is sporadic - or spontaneous. This means that it is not related to the genetics of family history of the disease. The vast majority of colon cancer cases are sporadic colon cancer.
Only 5% of yearly colon cancer cases in the United States are due to a “cancer gene”. Another 20% of cases occur in people with a family history of the disease, but without a “cancer gene”. This leaves approximately 75% of people who are diagnosed with colon cancer each year for no obvious reason. These are the sporadic colon cancer cases.
Sporadic colon cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer deaths in men and the 3rd most common cause of cancer deaths in women.
Even though 3 out of 4 colon cancer cases occur in people with no known genetic cause or family history, it doesn’t mean that health experts have no idea what might contribute to who gets colon cancer. There may be no single, obvious cause to explain why a person gets colon cancer, but we do know that a variety of things, many of which are within our own control, do play a role in colon cancer risk.