Review: Introduction to Colorectal Cancer

Here is what we have learned from Introduction to Colorectal Cancer:

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer with an estimated 147,500 new cases expected to be diagnosed in 2003, 72,800 men and 74,700 women.
  • The exact cause of colorectal cancer is unknown; however, at least eight different genes can be traced to dietary fat, particularly animal fat.
  • Risk factors for colorectal cancer, among others, include high-fat and low-fiber diet, sedentary work, having intestinal polyps, and history of breast or ovarian cancer. Rather than a review of earlier material, some of these risk factors here are being listed for the first time.
  • The early signs of colorectal cancer may mimic symptoms caused by other gastrointestinal illnesses, such as influenza, ulcers, and colitis (an inflammation of the colon).
  • Adenocarcinomas account for 90 to 95 percent of all large bowel tumors and they typically originate in the mucosa from a benign growth or adenoma.
  • Prognosis of colorectal cancer is related to the degree of tumor penetration through the bowel wall and the presence of involved lymph nodes.


Go to the quiz if you want to test yourself on the material you learned in this section. The quiz is a self-assessment tool and no records are kept. The feedback will let you know if you have answered the questions correctly. You can take the quiz as many times as you want.

Click here to take the quiz.