Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the large intestine, affecting either the colon or rectum, or both. The large intestine is part of the digestive system. Food is digested in the stomach and then moves from the small intestine into the colon where water and nutrients from the food are absorbed. The colon also stores waste material (stool) which is then expelled from the body passing through the rectum.
There is no known cause of what causes colorectal cancer. However, as with some of the other cancers, it is a result of the breakdown in the normal production of cells in the affected region. This breakdown results in cells continuing to divide and produce new cells even when they are not needed. These cancerous cells then start to push out the normal healthy cells and make the whole region cancerous as well.
Risk factors typically associated with colorectal cancer are:
Aging more than 50 years of age
Family or personal history of colorectal cancer
Inherited genes that increase the likelihood of colorectal cancer
History of intestinal diseases
Diet high in processed meat or red meat
High consumption of cigarette or alcohol
An inactive lifestyle