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.
What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer includes cancer of the colon, rectum and appendix. Because colon cancer and rectal cancers have many features in common, they are referred to together as colorectal cancer.
The colon and rectum are responsible for the storage and elimination of the body’s solid waste. They are lined with a covering, which, with aging, tends to develop growths, called polyps. Over time, it is these polyps that may become cancerous.
- The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown
- According to the America Cancer Society, about 25% of colorectal cancer cases occur among individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or a predisposing illness, about 75% of cases occur in people without these risk factors.
- Early detection through screening may be the best way to prevent colorectal cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.