About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is cancer that occurs in the colon or the rectum. The colon is the large intestine and the rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anal canal. 

Colorectal cancer usually starts from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

Screening Saves Lives

Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the U.S. If everyone of average risk ages 45 to 75 had regular screening tests, many deaths from this cancer might be avoided. This is because screening tests can often find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. Colonoscopy screening can also remove polyps from the colon before they become cancerous, preventing colon cancer.

The RIDOH Colorectal Cancer Prevention Program works with health systems, including clinics, hospitals, and other health care organizations in the state to use and strengthen strategies that have been shown to improve quality and completions of CRC screenings.

To learn more about colorectal cancer and screening options, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Colorectal (Colon) Cancer webpage or speak with your doctor.