Colorectal cancer is a term that’s used for both colon cancer and rectal cancer. Like other types of cancer, colorectal cancer can spread to other parts of your body.
There are different ways to test for colorectal cancer. Some tests are done every 1 to 3 years. Other tests are done every 5 to 10 years. Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you and how often to get screened. Some tests for colorectal cancer can be done at home, such as fecal occult blood test. Other tests, such as a colonoscopy, must be done in a clinic or hospital setting.
Most people can stop getting screened after age 75. Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you.
The colon is part of the body’s digestive system. The digestive system removes and processes nutrients(vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) from foods and helps pass waste material out of the body. The digestive system is made up of the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The colon (large bowel) is the first part of the large intestine and is about 5 feet long. Together, the rectum and anal canal make up the last part of the large intestine and are 6 to 8 inches long. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).