Colorectal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon or the rectum. It is the third leading cause of death from cancer in the United States.
Recently, the number of new colorectal cancer cases and the number of deaths from colorectal cancer have both decreased slightly each year.
Finding and treating colorectal cancer early may prevent death from colorectal cancer. Screening tests may be used to help find colorectal cancer.
Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.