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Colon Cancer Basics

About Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the digestive system (the colon). When there is cancer in the last few inches of the colon (the rectum), it is referred to as rectal cancer. Often, the two cancers are referred to together as colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 106,100 cases of colon and 40,870 cases of rectal cancer were diagnosed in 2009. It generally affects people over age 50; however, that doesn't mean someone younger is safe. Colorectal cancer can develop in men and women at any age. People with a family history of the disease are at greater risk, as well.

Learn more about this cancer