Medical professionals often refer to colorectal cancer, which includes colon cancer that affects the large intestine and rectal cancer that affects the lower most part of the large intestine.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 20 people are at a risk of developing colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
The exact cause of colorectal or bowel cancer is not known. However, it is believed to develop when healthy cells become abnormal and start growing in number and accumulate in the lining of the colon, forming polyps. Left untreated, polyps may become cancerous.
Several factors increase your risk of developing colon and rectal cancer, including aging (above 50 years), some types of bowel diseases, family history, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, a sedentary lifestyle, Type 2 diabetes and regular intake of processed foods or red meats.
African-Americans are at a greater risk of colon cancer than people of other races.
As it can be difficult to treat colon cancer after it spreads to nearby areas, it is important to know what the early symptoms are. This can help you seek early treatment and give you a better chance in recovery.