Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Overview

Colon cancer and cancer of the rectum can begin as a small polyp, detectable through regular cancer screening, such as colonoscopy. Colon cancer symptoms include a change in bowel habits or bleeding, but often there are no symptoms. With early detection, surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy can be effective treatment.

Overview & Facts

What is colorectal cancer? How do you know if you have it? Here you’ll find answers about colorectal cancer, including risk factors and prevention for colon cancer.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

 Colon cancer and rectal cancer are known together as colorectal cancer. Get started here learning the basics of these cancers.

Many colon cancers start at colon polyps, a growth on the inside of the colon. Learn more about colon polyps so you know what to watch out for.


The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown, but several factors are thought to play a role. Learn more here.

Are You at Risk?

Are you at risk for colorectal cancer? Actually, everyone is. Learn about key risk factors here, including diet and other lifestyle factors.

Answer these six questions and determine your risk of colon cancer.

Symptoms & Types

Learn about colorectal cancer symptoms and how the different types and stages of colon and rectal cancer affect prognosis and treatment.


Often times, colon cancer has no symptoms, but this quick, handy guide to the main symptoms of colon cancer can help you know what to look for.


Learn the basics about how the four stages of colorectal cancer differ and what that means.

Diagnosis & Tests

How is lung cancer diagnosed? What tests will doctors have to perform? Get that vital information in these short, to-the-point articles.


Treatment & Care

Many colon cancer treatment options are available for colorectal cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Here’s what to expect from each type of treatment and tips for recovery.


Learn how colon polyps are removed and why it’s so important to stay on top of these and other precancerous conditions.

Here’s a quick rundown of the options available for colorectal cancer treatment from surgery to cutting-edge biologic therapy.

Here you’ll find detailed information on how the various stages of colon cancer are treated — from stage 0 to stage IV and also recurrent colon cancer.

Here you’ll find detailed information on how the various stages of rectal cancer are treated — from stage 0 to stage IV and also recurrent rectal cancer.

Learn about the different ways chemotherapy is used to treat colon cancer and rectal cancer and the side effects of commonly used chemotherapy drugs.

New medications called monocolonal antibodies are the latest options for treating colon cancer and rectal cancer. Learn more here.

Some people require a colostomy — an opening between the surface of the skin and the colon — after colon cancer surgery. It can be permanent or temporary. Learn when it may be necessary.

Learn more about surgery to treat colorectal cancer here.


People with colorectal cancer often encounter several types of doctors when going through treatment. Learn about the different specialists and find out how to build your cancer team.

Be your own best advocate. Know which questions to ask your doctor about your type of colorectal cancer.

Partnering with your doctor helps give you a sense of control and may lead to better treatment. Here’s how to get started.

Getting control of pain that you may have is vitally important. Find out what causes cancer pain and which treatments may be right for you.

Learn about a new way some doctors are using to gauge a patient’s level of pain — and determine if more — or less — pain treatment is needed in this WebMD video.

Learn about cupping, an alternative medicine treatment for cancer pain, in this WebMD video.

Thanks to new drugs and other treatments, you can control nausea from chemotherapy. Find out how.

Learn simple ways to cope with the “terrible triad” of nausea, hair loss, and fatigue from chemotherapy.

Tired and worn out? Check out WebMD’s animated guide on chemotherapy-related anemia to see if anemia may be the cause.

What does the future hold? Learn more about the outlook for colorectal cancer and what happens if the cancer comes back.

Regular checkups help ensure that any changes in your health are noticed; and if the cancer returns, it can be treated as soon as possible.

Living & Managing

Learning how to cope after hearing “you’ve got colorectal cancer” is half the battle. Here you’ll find information to help you deal with everything from stress and fatigue to living with a colostomy.

Living and Coping

A colorectal cancer diagnosis may be frightening, but there are ways to cope with stress and fear so that cancer doesn’t rule your life. Learn how here.

New research shows that regular exercise can prevent recurrences of colorectal cancer and help patients live longer.

Learn how to manage your colostomy so it doesn’t interfere with your normal activities.

After colon cancer surgery, some people require an ileostomy, which connects the end of the small intestine to the skin of the abdomen. Learn what you need to know to care for an ileostomy.


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