Colorectal cancer is the fourth commonest cancer worldwide. Around two-thirds of a million people will present with the disease each year. It affects men and women almost equally and tends to be more common in 'developed' countries and is particularly common in the US, Europe, and Australia.

Ethnic and racial differences, as well as migrant studies, suggest that environmental factors (probably diet) play a major role in the aetiology of the disease. Several distinct, inherited, predisposition syndromes have been described such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), but these account for a minority of cases (<8%).

The left side of the colon was more commonly affected, but over the last two decades there has been a steady increase in the incidence of cancer in the proximal colon.

Colorectal cancers are almost always adenocarcinomas. The tumour often starts as a polypoidal mass and then tends to infiltrate into and through the bowel wall. The loco-regional lymph nodes tend to be involved before the development of disseminated disease. This behaviour is the basis for all the staging systems for colorectal cancer. In rectal cancer specifically there is also a propensity for the tumour to infiltrate laterally into the perirectal fat and lymph nodes.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

Learning About 10 Ways Fight Off Cancer Can Have Amazing Benefits For Your Life The Best Tips On How To Keep This Killer At Bay Discovering that you or a loved one has cancer can be utterly terrifying. All the same, once you comprehend the causes of cancer and learn how to reverse those causes, you or your loved one may have more than a fighting chance of beating out cancer.

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