Different types of colon polyps include adenomatous polyps, inflammatory polyps and hyperplastic polyps, notes WebMD. While a majority of colorectal polyps don't develop into cancer, nearly all rectal and colon cancers begin from these polyps. There's also a chance a person may inherit diseases that raise his risk of cancer.
Hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps can be grouped together, and while they don't usually become cancer, hyperplastic polyps located on the right side of the colon should be taken care of as soon as possible, says WedMD. Adenomas, also known as adenomatous polyps, have the potential to become colon cancer.
Areas of abnormal cells known as dysplasia found in the lining of the rectum or colon can lead to the development of cancer, notes WebMD. These abnormal cells are most often found in individuals with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
There are specific risk factors associated with an individual's chances of contracting colon cancer, says WebMD. Such risk factors include Type 2 diabetes, heavy alcohol use, a family history of colon cancer, hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer, obesity, smoking, and a diet rich in processed and red meats. Colon cancer is most common in individuals who are over the age of 50.