What is colorectal cancer? Colorectal cancer is the combined name of colon cancer and rectal cancer. It is one of the most common forms of cancer with the average person having a 1 in 20 chance of developing the disease. In this video, Dr. Roshini Raj explains how your digestive system works and what happens when you have colorectal cancer.
Colon and rectal cancer develop in the lower sections of the digestive system in the large intestine and rectum. Most colorectal cancers begin as polyps, which are small clumps of cells that form in the lining of your colon or rectum. Over time, these polyps can become cancerous and spread deeper into the colon or rectal tissue. It's important to know, however, that not all polyps become cancer, and it can take several years for those polyps that do mutate and become cancer.
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Colorectal Cancer: Epidemiology, risk factors, and protective factors. Waltham, MA.: UptoDate, 2014. (Accessed July 7, 2014 at http://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-staging-of-colorectal-cancer?source=search_result&selectedTitle=1%7E150.)
Screening for Colorectal Cancer Clinical Summary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation. US Preventative Services. Rockville, MD. Downloarded 8/19/2014. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf08/colocancer/colosum.htm
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