Most Colorectal Cancers start in the cells that line the inside of the colon or the rectum. The colon and rectum make up the large intestine (large bowel). The large intestine is the last part of the digestive system. Organs of the digestive system change food into energy and help pass waste out of the body. Colorectal Cancer usually grows slowly and in a predictable way. It is curable when diagnosed at an early stage.
Screening for Colorectal Cancer can identify and remove precancerous polyps, which can in turn reduce incidence. As of 2010, all provinces had announced or started implementing organized screening programs, although screening rates remain low. Colorectal Cancer is linked to several modifiable risk factors including obesity, physical inactivity, consumption of red and processed meat and smoking.
As of 2016, there has been an estimated 26,100 new cases of Colorectal Cancer and an estimated 9,300 Colorectal Cancer deaths in Canada (Canadian Cancer Statistics, 2016).