colonWhat is the colon?

Also known as the large intestine, the large bowel, is the last part of the gastrointestinal tract and the digestive system. Water is absorbed here and the remaining waste material is stored as faeces before being removed by defecation.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer and colon cancer, is the development of cancer from the colon or rectum (parts of the large intestine). A cancer is the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body.

Bowel cancer may be diagnosed by obtaining a sample of the colon during a colonoscopy. Treatments used for colorectal cancer may include some combination of surgery, radiation, therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy.

Who might experience it?

Globally more than 1 million people get colorectal cancer every year resulting in about 715,000 deaths as of 2010 up from 490,000 in 1990.In the UK about 41,000 people a year get colon cancer making it the fourth most common type.

The large majority (75–95%) of colorectal cancers occurs in people with little or no genetic risk. Risk factors include:

  • Old age
  • More common in men
  • Diet – high fat intake, alcohol, red meat and processed meats
  • Lifestyle – obesity, smoking, and a lack of physical exercise.

Drinking 5 glasses of water a day is linked to a decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps.


Adapted from Wikipedia

For more information please visit the CRUK website

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