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Colorectal Cancer Information for Patients

This page provides helpful information about colorectal cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This includes Diagnosis and Treatment Information about Colorectal Cancer and links to related colorectal cancer treatment topics.


Overview of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the body’s digestive system. During digestion, food moves through the stomach and small intestine into the colon. The colon absorbs water and nutrients from the food and stores waste matter (stool). Stool moves from the colon into the rectum before it leaves the body.

Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, which may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Some polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States. Deaths from colorectal cancer have decreased with the use of colonoscopies and fecal occult blood tests, which check for blood in the stool.


Diagnosis and Treatment Information on Colorectal Cancer from the National Cancer Institute

Includes both Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer


Colon Cancer Information for Patients

Diagnosis and Treatment Information 


Rectal Cancer Information for Patients

Diagnosis and Treatment Information 


For more Colorectal Cancer information from the NCI about treatments, approved drugs, and clinical trials, click or touch Learn More:

Learn More 


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