Colorectal cancer is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the colon and/or rectum.
Together, the colon and rectum make up the large intestine. The large intestine carries waste from the small intestine and eliminates it through the anus.
Colorectal tumors often begin as small growths (polyps) on the inside of the large intestine. Polyps that are not removed eventually can become cancerous.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:
Family history of colorectal cancer
Personal history of colorectal cancer
Personal history of polyps
Inflammatory bowel disease, including persistent ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
Diet low in fiber and high in saturated fat
Race and ethnicity (Alaska natives have the highest risk)