Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer identified in the United States. Colorectal cancer is cancer that begins in the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system.
During digestion, food travels through the stomach and small intestine into the colon. The colon absorbs water and nutrients from the food and stores waste matter (stool). Stool travels from the colon into the rectum before it leaves the body.
(CNN) Colon and rectal cancer rates are rising sharply for Americans under 55, according to a study published today.
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they’re regularly referred to as colorectal cancers.
Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that initiate in cells that produce and discharge mucus and other fluids). Colorectal cancer often commences as a growth called a polyp, which can form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum.
Over time some of these polyps develop into colon cancers. Discovering and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer. Polyps may be small and produce few if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening exams to help prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become colon cancer.
Someone born in 1990 would have twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer at the same age had they been born in 1950, according to researchers at the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.