Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer or also known as colon cancer or rectal cancer and is a cancer that begins in the colon or rectum.

Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer which typically affects older adults. The cause of colorectal cancer is not known however, in most cases, it originates from adenomatous polyps which grow in the inner lining of the large intestine.

Colorectal cancer may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Most colorectal cancers are of the adenocarcinoma type. The less common types of colorectal cancers include carcinoid tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, lymphomas and sarcomas.

Similar to other cancers, there are 5 stages of colorectal cancer namely from Stage 0 up to Stage 4 with Stage 0 being the earliest stage and Stage 4 being the latest stage.

Early stages of colorectal cancer may not present any signs or symptoms. However, later stages of colorectal cancer may present with symptoms such as unexplained weakness and weight loss, weakness or fatigue, persistent changes in the bowel habits and persistent abdominal discomfort.

Treatment options depend on the size, location and stage of the cancer. As it is typically a slow growing cancer, regular colorectal cancer screening makes colorectal cancer highly treatable as it detects precancerous polyps that can be removed before they turn cancerous. For advanced colorectal cancer, the most effective treatment is by surgically removing the cancer, affected sections and lymph nodes nearby