About Colorectal Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States. However, early diagnosis often leads to a complete cure.

Almost all colon cancer starts in glands in the lining of the colon and rectum. When most people and when doctors talk about colorectal cancer, this is generally what they are referring to.

There is no single cause for colon cancer. Nearly all colon cancers begin as noncancerous (benign) polyps, which slowly develop into cancer.

You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you:

  • Are older than 60
  • Are African American and eastern European descent
  • Eat a diet high in red or processed meat
  • Have cancer elsewhere in the body
  • Have colorectal polyps
  • Have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Have a family history of colon cancer
  • Have a personal history of breast cancer