Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer, is any cancer that affects the colon and the rectum.
The American Cancer Society estimate that about 1 in 21 men and 1 in 23 women in the United States will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and the third for men. However, due to advances in screening techniques and improvements in treatments, the death rate from colorectal cancer has been falling.
Colorectal cancer may be benign, or non-cancerous, or malignant. A malignant cancer can spread to other parts of the body and damage them.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include:
Most of these symptoms may also indicate other possible conditions. It is important to see a doctor if symptoms persist for 4 weeks or more.
A number of lifestyle measures may reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer:
A study published in the journal Cell has suggested that aspirin could be effective in boosting the immune system in patients suffering from breast, skin and bowel cancer.
A gene linked to bowel cancer recurrence and shortened survival could help predict outcomes for patients with the gene - and take scientists a step closer to development of personalized treatments, reveals research in the journal Gut.
A study published in Science found that 300 oranges' worth of vitamin C impairs cancer cells, suggesting that the power of vitamin C could one day be harnessed to fight colorectal cancer
Researchers have found that drinking coffee every day - even decaffeinated coffee - may lower the risk of colorectal cancer.