Awareness Color: Blue
Awareness Month/Day(s): March
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they're often referred to as colorectal cancers.
Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps become colon cancers.
Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying polyps before they become colon cancer.
*Sources: From Mayo Clinic,
Cancer that forms in the tissues of the colon (the longest part of the large intestine). Most colon cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Definition of rectal cancer: Cancer that 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 2014: • New cases: 96,830 (colon); 40,000 (rectal) • Deaths: 50,310 (colon and rectal combined).