National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - March

Last Editorial Review: 3/21/2005

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 the patient.
  • Surgery is the most common treatment for colorectal cancer.

For more information about this disease, and how to prevent it, please see the following articles.

  • Colon Cancer (Colorectal Cancer)
  • Colon Cancer Screening and Surveillance
  • Doctor's View, Colon Cancer and Polyp - Screening Guidelines
  • Doctor's View, Colon Cancer - And Genetic Testing
  • Colonoscopy

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