Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs anywhere in the colon or rectum. A person’s lifetime chance of having colon cancer is 6 in 100. If there is a family history of colon cancer/polyps or other conditions, the risk is even higher. The colon is the lowest portion of the large intestine and is the last part of the digestive system through which food passes. The rectum is the final section of the colon, through which solid wastes are eliminated from the body. It usually begins as a benign growth on the lining of the colon or the rectum (also known as polyps) over time, these polyps may begin to grow at a rapid rate. When this happens, they become malignant.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. It ranks third in frequency behind lung and prostate cancer in men in the United States. It is also third in frequency behind lung and breast cancer in women. Colorectal cancer accounts for about 10 percent of all new cases of cancer each year in the United States.