Colorectal cancer is a common cancer and is the third leading cause of cancer deaths among American men and women. Colorectal cancer arises from cells in the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and/or the inner lining of the rectum at the end of the digestive tract. Colorectal cancer is preventable, and it is highly curable if caught in its early stages.
Polyps: Colorectal cancer usually begins as a non-cancerous polyp, or growth, on the inner lining of the colon. During a colonoscopy, these polyps can be detected and removed before they become cancerous, which is why having a regular colonoscopy is so important in preventing colorectal cancer.
The two most common types of polyps are:
- Hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps, which do not usually become cancerous.
- Adenomas or adenomatous polyps, which can become cancerous if not removed.
In addition to developing from polyps, colorectal cancer may also develop from areas of abnormal cells (called dysplasia), which is most common in people who have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases
At Yale Colon & Rectal Surgery, we understand that a diagnosis of cancer can be frightening. Our nationally renowned surgeons and specialists offer compassionate care and individualized attention to help you through every step of your surgery. Our patients receive treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital of Yale-New Haven, a world-class cancer care center that offers the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies, educational and supportive resources, and a warm, welcoming environment.