Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

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What is colorectal cancer?

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see What Is Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a term used to refer to cancer that develops in the colon or the rectum. These cancers are sometimes called colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common.

Last Medical Review: 01/27/2016
Last Revised: 06/24/2016