Colorectal Cancer


Cancer of the colon or rectum is also called colorectal cancer. In the United States, it is one of the most common cancers in men and women. Caught early, it is often curable.

It is more common in people over 50, and the risk increases with age. You are also more likely to get it if you have

  • Polyps — growths inside the colon and rectum that may become cancerous
  • A diet that is high in fat
  • A family history or personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease
Symptoms can include blood in the stool, narrower stools, a change in bowel habits and general stomach discomfort. However, you may not have symptoms at first, so screening is important. Everyone who is 50 or older should be screened for colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy is one method that your doctor can use to screen for colorectal cancer. Treatments for colorectal cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

This site gives a brief overview of colorectal cancer and then numerous links to other sources providing detailed information, the latest news, diagnosis/symptoms, treatment, prevention/screening, disease management, related issues, clinical trials, research, financial issues, research, journal articles and more.

Mayo Clinic
This site explains in detail what colon cancer is, where it occurs, symptoms, risk factors and causes, preparing for a doctor’s visit if colon cancer is suspected, tests and diagnosis, alternative medicine, coping and support, and prevention.

National Cancer Institute
Definition of colon and rectal cancers, treatment, prevention, genetics, causes, screening and testing, clinical trials, cancer literature, research and related information, and statistics. This site is available in Spanish. An online booklet titled "What You Need To Know About Cancer of the Colon and Rectum" is also available on this site.

American Cancer Society
This site gives details about the digestive system, different kinds of polyps found in the colon, statistics for colorectal cancer; causes, risk factors and prevention; early detection, diagnosis and staging; treating colon and rectal cancers; talking with a doctor; and more.

This site provides oncologist-approved cancer information from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, including factsheets and videos.

Local Resources

Patient Navigator Program, UCHealth
The Patient Navigator Program is a free service of University of Colorado Health for residents of northern Colorado. Trained Patient Navigators are familiar with local and national resources for cancer and can provide support, information and guidance to patients and their families. To arrange a consultation, call 970-237-7700. The program also provides help exploring treatment options and offering guidance regarding complementary healthcare practices during treatment and recovery. Patient Navigators, however, do not give medical advice.

Search for a Local Healthcare Provider, HealthInfoSource.com
Search this site to find a cancer specialist in the greater Fort Collins area.

9Health Fair
The annual 9Health Fair, which takes place in one or more locations in northern Colorado, provides free and low-cost health awareness and educational screenings, including a take-home colon cancer screening kit.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about pregnancy and babies, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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