What Is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.
Who Gets Colorectal Cancer?
• Both men and women can get it.
• It is most often found in people 50 or older.
• The risk increases with age.
Screening Saves Lives
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are 50 or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life.
Colorectal cancer usually starts from precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there.
Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
The Bottom Line
If you’re 50 or older, talk with your doctor about getting screened. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/screenforlife or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636). For TTY, call 1-888-232-6348.