Because early detection of colon cancer and rectal cancer directly impacts outcomes,

it is important to gain an understanding of symptoms, types, stages and risk factors of these diseases.

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What causes colorectal cancer

The exact cause of colorectal cancer—malignant cells found in the colon or rectum—is unknown.

  • In most colorectal cancer, early tumors start as small polyps that continue to grow and can then turn into malignant tumors.
  • A small percentage of colorectal cancers are caused by inherited gene mutations. People with a family history of colorectal cancer may wish to consider genetic testing.
  • The American Cancer Society suggests that anyone undergoing such tests have access to a physician or geneticist qualified to explain the significance of these test results.
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