Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. As the drawing shows, the colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
Sometimes abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps may turn into cancer. Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.
Your risk of getting colorectal cancer increases as you get older. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Other risk factors include having:
Lifestyle factors that may contribute to an increased risk of colorectal cancer include:
Click to view the full “Colorectal Cancer Screening: It’s the Right Choice” Infographic