Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and women.

Colorectal cancer is the cancer of the colon or rectum. Sometimes, abnormal growths called polyps form in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps may turn into cancer.

It is the fourth-most-common cancer in men and women, with men’s rate being slightly higher than women’s.

Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage when treatment works best.

It is not uncommon to have no early symptoms of colon cancer, so screening is key! 

patient clipboard icon


Several risk factors of colorectal cancer include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Family history
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Low fiber and high fat diet
  • Being overweight
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Tobacco use
stethoscope icon


Some symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood in your stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation
  • Abdominal pain that will not go away
  • Unexplained weight loss

Testing for Colorectal Cancer

There are several colorectal cancer screenings that can help find precancerous changes and detect cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable.

In adults younger than 45 and from 76-85 years old, the USPSTF recommends the decision to screen for colorectal cancer should be an individual one, made by the patient and their primary care provider. This decision should take into account the person’s overall health and prior screening history to determine which test is the best.

The table below shows the different types of screening tests that can be done. Talk with your doctor about which screening is right for you.


Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

Treatment depends on the type of colorectal cancer and how far it has spread. Once diagnosed, additional testing will help determine the extent or stage of cancer to indicate the most appropriate treatment.