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Colorectal Cancer Resources

Information on Risk Factors, Screenings, Treatment Options and Resources

Colorectal Cancer

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or you are looking for prevention information, here is an overview of risk factors and screenings available.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon, rectum or both. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common including starting as a growth or polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum.

Risk Factors

Who's at risk?

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Lifestyle-related factors such as obesity, physical inactivity, diets high in processed meats, smoking and heavy alcohol use may increase the risk for colon or rectal cancer in both men and women.

You may have an increased risk of colorectal cancer if any of the following apply to you:

  • You are over 50 years old
  • You have a history of adenomatous polyps (adenomas) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • You have a family history of colorectal cancer
  • You have an inherited syndrome: Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
image of cancer cells

Learn more about your potential level of risk with this quick two-minute quiz.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or you are looking for information, here is an overview of risk factors and screenings.


A colonoscopy is considered the most comprehensive screening test for colorectal cancer because it allows physicians to identify and remove precancerous polyps during the procedure.

The American Cancer Society recommends people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screenings at age 45. Read the recommendations.

Treatment Options

If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, your doctors will discuss the treatment options available to you. Here are some of the common treatment options.

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Biological Therapy

Visit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s Patient and Family Support for questions to ask your doctor about treatment.


There are numerous organizations dedicated to helping you or your loved one navigate colorectal cancer. Through the following resources you’ll find more information on colorectal cancer, patient and family support, financial assistance, helplines and patient communities.

Close the Gap

Close the Gap is Boston Scientific’s health equity program dedicated to raising awareness for gastrointestinal diseases, educating patients, funding research and improving access to care.

Boston Scientific does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The contents of this website, including text graphics, images, and other material ("Content") are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Colorectal Cancer Alliance

American Cancer Society