Doctor Patel in the lab

Colorectal Cancer

Answers to common questions

Quick Facts  

About: Malignant Tumors Of The Colon And Rectum

  • Nearly 150,000 cases diagnosed each year
  • Third most common cancer diagnosis (excluding skin)
  • Second most common cause of cancer-related death
  • Occurs in both men and women

 Who Gets It? 

  • High occurrence in people over age 50
  • Occurrence increases with age  
  • Some, but not most, colon cancers are hereditary or familial  
  • Greater risk in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)

Signs And Symptoms May Include: 

  • Blood in the stool
  • Change in appearance/frequency of stools
  • Weight loss 

How Is It Detected/Diagnosed? 

  • Endoscopic examination (colonoscopy) with biopsies is necessary for a definitive diagnosis
  • Radiologic exams may aid in detecting colon cancer
  • Certain lab tests can help raise suspicion of possible colon cancer

How Is It Treated?  

  • Treatment is tailored to each patient specifically based on a number of factors, including: the location, size and type of tumor, as well as the age and health of the patient   
  • The treatment plan will be created by your team of health care providers which may include your primary care doctor, gastroenterologist, surgeon and/or oncologist
  • Treatment possibilities may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy 

Other Useful Resources

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute

Colon Cancer Alliance

1355 River Bend Drive

Dallas, Texas 75247

This publication is intended for patient education and information only. It does not constitute advice, nor should it be taken to suggest or replace professional medical care from your physician. Your treatment options may vary, depending upon your medical history and current condition.