National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month -
Globally, cancer of the colon and rectum is the third
leading cause of cancer in males and the fourth leading cause of cancer in
females. The frequency of colorectal cancer varies around the world. It is
common in the Western world, and is rare in Asia and Africa. In countries where
the people have adopted western diets, the incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing.
Colon Cancer At A Glance
- Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor arising from
the inner wall of the large intestine.
- Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of
cancer in males, fourth in females in the U.S.
- Risk factors for colorectal cancer include heredity,
colon polyps, and long standing ulcerative colitis.
- Most colorectal cancers develop from polyps. Removal
of colon polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.
- Colon polyps and early cancer can have no symptoms.
Therefore regular screening is important.
- Diagnosis of colorectal cancer can be made by barium
enema or by colonoscopy with biopsy confirmation of cancer tissue.
- Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the
location, size, and extent of cancer spread, as well as the age and health of
- Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal
For more information about this disease, and how to prevent it, please see
the following MedicineNet.com articles.
Last Editorial Review: 3/21/2005