Colon and Rectal Cancer

Colon cancer forms in the tissues of the colon, the longest part of the large intestine. Most colon cancers are adenocarcinoma—cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids.

Rectal cancer forms in the tissues of the rectum, the last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus.

Estimated new cases and deaths from colon and rectal cancer in the United States in 2016:

  • New cases: 95,270 (colon); 39,220 (rectal)
  • Deaths: 49,190 (colon and rectal combined)

Colon Cancer

Symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
  • Diarrhea, constipation or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness or cramps
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Feeling very tired
  • Vomiting

Treatment:

Different treatments are available for patients with colon cancer, including clinical trials of new treatments for patients with cancer.

Rectal Cancer

Symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • Stools that are narrower or have a different shape than usual
  • Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
  • General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps)
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Feeling very tired

Treatment:

Different treatments are available for patients with rectal cancer, including clinical trials of new treatments for patients with cancer. 

For More Information: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/colon-and-rectal