Colorectal cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in the lining of the colon or rectum located at the end of the digestive system. Colorectal cancer grows slowly over time and mostly begins as a polyp (abnormal tissue growth) that is non-cancerous (benign). An uncommon type of polyp, called adenoma, can become cancerous (malignant). The American Cancer Society estimates that about 140,000 colorectal cancer cases and about 50,000 deaths from colorectal cancer occur each year.
A type of cancer called adenocarcinoma accounts for more than 95 percent of cancers in the colon and rectum. There are several other types of cancers that can be found in the colon and rectum:
Colorectal cancer symptoms do not usually occur in the early stages of cancer. Some symptoms during late stages may include:
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a MemorialCare Physician partner.
You are at a greater risk for colorectal cancer risk if you:
The causes of colorectal cancer are unknown. Some risk factors such as smoking and diet can be controlled to help prevent colorectal cancer. It’s also important to have a regular screening for colorectal cancer to detect polyps or growths at early stages. Understanding your genetic make-up with genetic counseling can help determine your risk for colorectal cancer.
50 years of age or older - Annually for men and women.
50 years of age or older - Every 10 years for men and women.
50 years of age or older - Every five years for men and women.
MemorialCare is proud to provide the highest quality, comprehensive cancer care for adults and children of all ages. Our cancer centers are devoted to improving the lives of residents in Los Angeles County and Orange County, California and beyond.
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