Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. These cancers can also be referred to separately as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. The colon and rectum are both part of the gastrointestinal (GI) system, which is responsible for digesting food and passing waste from the body. The wall of the colon and rectum are made up of several layers, and colorectal cancer starts in the innermost layer. If left unchecked colorectal cancer can grow through some or all of the other layers, which is an important indicator of the extent the cancer has spread.
A Answers (6)
American Cancer Society answered
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the Unites States. It is a cancer that begins as a precancerous polyp and primarily involves the large intestines (a.k.a the colon) and/or the rectum. In advanced cases, the disease may ultimately spread to involve other organs in the body.
Penn Medicine answered
While colon cancer is often combined with rectal cancer and referred to as “colorectal cancer,” it is important to know about the two different types, their location and their symptoms.
The colon is the largest part of the large intestine, also known as the large bowel. After food is chewed and swallowed, it travels through the stomach and small intestine where it is broken down and most of the nutrients absorbed. The colon's function is to change liquid waste into solid waste and prepare it to be expelled from the body.
Rectal cancer is cancerous tissue that grows along and invades the wall of the rectum. Rectal cancer and colon cancer are very similar and share many common features. The difference in location creates important differences in how each is treated. Rectal cancer, like colon cancer, may start as a polyp that becomes cancerous.
Aurora Health Care answeredColorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum, both of which make up the large bowel. This is one cancer that can be prevented by doing screenings. It usually starts as small benign growths called polyps. Not all polyps turn into cancer. Those that do may take years to turn into cancer. So, removing small polyps early can help prevent this cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the abnormal growth of cancer cells in the large intestine. Colon cancer forms in the longest part of the large intestine, while rectal cancer forms in the last 8 in. (20.3 cm) to 10 in. (25.4 cm) (rectum). Colon and rectal cancers are often referred to together as colorectal cancer because they have so much in common.
Although the exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, it almost always begins as small growths called polyps inside the colon or rectum. Polyps can be found with some screening tests and are often removed during the same procedures.
Colorectal cancer causes few symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms are usually not noticed until later, when the cancer is harder to treat. Symptoms include belly pain, a change in bowel habits, bloody stools, stools that are narrower than normal, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue.
People are more likely to develop colorectal cancer if they are over the age of 50, have a family history of this type of cancer, or have rare inherited colon cancer syndromes, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC).
Surgery is usually used to treat all stages of colorectal cancer. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used.
Recurrent colorectal cancer is cancer that has come back after treatment.
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NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital answered
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In the United States there were 146,970 estimated cases and 49,920 reported deaths for both colon and rectal cancer in 2009. Screening is an important means of detecting the disease early, when the chances of cure are highest. Screening also allows for the detection and removal of potentially precancerous growths, called polyps, preventing the cancer from developing.