About: Symptoms, Conditions, Causes and Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer found in both men and women. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that there are 140,000 colorectal cancer cases, with about 50,000 deaths occurring from colorectal cancer, each year. That number continues to decrease due to colorectal cancer screening and polyp removal and to improvements in cancer treatment. 

The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is part of the digestive system. Most cancers in the colon or rectum begin in the inner lining as a polyp. A polyp is an abnormal growth of tissue that can occur in your colon and rectum. Colorectal screening is a proven method for identifying these growths. 

Cancerous tumors found in the colon or rectum also may spread to other parts of the body, such as lymph nodes, liver, or lungs. This process is called metastasis. 

Learn how to reduce your risk for colorectal cancer.