Colon cancer is a disease where cancerous cells (tumours) are present in the wall of the large intestine (colon). A mix of genetic and environmental factors can cause cells in the lining of the bowel to turn cancerous. The first step in this transformation occurs when a collection of abnormal cells called a polyp forms.
Colon cancer can affect people of all ages but is most common after the age of 50. In 2009, it is expected that 22,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with colon cancer and that about 8,900 of those will die. Colon cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in Canada, the second most common cause of cancer deaths and, the second most expensive cancer to treat.
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