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The colon or large bowel absorbs water as the digested food passes through it, and the waste matter left behind forms into stool. The large bowel is about 5 feet long and has 4 sections. Cancer can develop in any of these.

Colorectal cancer or colon cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or rectum. Most colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas (cancers that begin in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids). Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp, which may form on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. Some polyps become cancer over time. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.

How bowel cancer grows

The bowel walls are made up of several layers of body tissues. Bowel cancers start in the innermost layer – the lining. Most begin as a small growth called a polyp or adenoma. If left untreated, they may become cancerous and grow into the muscle layers under the lining of the bowel and then through the bowel wall. The cancer can then spread into organs that are close to the bowel, such as the bladder, womb or prostate gland.

Surgery is the main treatment for early colorectal cancer. Often, the piece of the colon or rectum with the tumor is removed and the ends are sewn back together.

Surgeries using this method go by different names, such as colectomy, segmental resection, low anterior resection, and proctectomy with colo-anal anastomosis. There is quite a bit of information to digest about the surgical options and we can discuss the options with you on a one-to-one basis.

Services offered:

  • Colon cancer surveillance/screening
  • Colonoscopy with polyp removal
  • Colon surgery Open/Laparoscopic
  • laboratory, X-ray and diagnostic procedures, and interpretation
  • use of the operating room, case room, and anaesthetic facilities required for diagnosis and treatment, including necessary equipment and supplies
Parts of text on this page were reproduced, from the websites of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at http://www.cancer.gov/, and http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/bowel-cancer/about/the-bowel. Any modifications, including explanatory or supplemental material, were added to enhance the reader’s understanding.