This year, about 147,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The disease affects men and women equally.
The colon extends from the end of the small intestine to the rectum. It consists of ascending, transverse and descending segments. Because colon cancer and rectal cancers have many features in common, they are sometimes referred to together as colorectal cancer. Cancerous tumors found in the colon or rectum also may spread to other parts of the body.