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What is cancer?
Cancer is actually a group of diseases that occur when cells in the body mutate and grow out of control. In most types of cancer, these cells form a mass or tumor. Cells from the tumor may break away and move to other parts of the body. This process of cancer spread is known as metastasis.

What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is one, which affects either the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. Before cancer develops, early changes can often be seen in the lining of the last part of the colon (sigmoid colon) or the rectum. If colorectal cancer is found early enough, it can usually be cured by surgery.
What are causes of colorectal cancer?

Although the exact causes of colorectal cancer are not yet well defined but certain risk factors are involved. In general, these include:

Age: colorectal cancer is more likely to occur after age of 50, although it can occur at younger ages, sometimes even during the teenage years.

Lifestyle: diets high in fat and calories and low in fiber have been linked with   colorectal cancer. Lack of exercise also seems to play a role.

Polyps: These benign growths on the inner wall of colon and rectum are fairly common in people over the age of 50, and may increase the risk for colorectal cancer. A rare, inherited condition called familial polyposis causes hundreds of polyps to form in the colon and rectum.  Unless this disorder is treated, it will almost always lead to colorectal cancer.

Medical history: women who have had cancer of the ovary, uterus, or breast have a somewhat greater chance of development of colorectal cancer.

Family history:  parents, siblings, and children of people who have had colorectal cancer are somewhat more likely to have it themselves, especially if the relative had colorectal cancer at a young age. 

Ulcerative colitis:  this is a condition in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed. Chances that colorectal cancer will occur are increased when this inflammation is present.  

What are the signs of colorectal cancer? 
Most colorectal cancers begin as a polyp. At first, a polyp is a small, harmless growth in the wall of the colon. However, as a polyp gets larger, it can develop into a cancer that grows and spreads. Removing the polyp early may prevent it from becoming cancerous. More than 95% of colorectal cancers belong to a type   called adenocarcinomas.


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