What is bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer is also referred to as colorectal
or colon cancer. Nearly all bowel cancers develop in the large bowel
two-thirds of these are in the colon and one-third in the rectum.
Most bowel cancers develop from polyps which are usually
non-cancerous and, once detected, can be removed easily if caught
The bowel is divided into the small bowel (small
intestine) and the large bowel (colon and rectum).
Cancer of the small bowel is rare with only just over 700 people
diagnosed in the UK each year.
On the Bowel Cancer UK website, "bowel cancer" refers to
cancer of the large bowel and not small bowel cancer.
is divided into four sections:
The bowel is part of our digestive system. Food passes from the
stomach to the small bowel. After the small bowel takes nutrients
into the body, any undigested food passes through the large bowel,
where water is removed from the waste matter. This waste matter is
held in the rectum (back passage) until it leaves the body as bowel
motions (also known as stools or faeces).
Cancer occurs when cells in your bowel multiply out of control.
These cells can invade surrounding tissue and spread to other parts
of the body.