Colorectal (bowel) cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer in many countries, including Germany. The name " colorectal cancer" is used to describe bowel cancer that starts in the colon (the large intestine) or the rectum. Cancer of the small intestine is very rare.
Colorectal cancer usually develops from growths called colorectal polyps that form in the lining of the colon or rectum. But by no means do all polyps turn into cancer – and if they do, it takes many years. One way to prevent colorectal cancer is to have a colonoscopy, which also allows doctors to remove polyps.
Having colorectal cancer can really turn your life upside down. What happens after the diagnosis has been made will depend on various factors, including the stage of the cancer. In early-stage colorectal cancer, surgery to remove the tumor is enough. In more advanced stages, other treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be needed too.
There are many sources of support for people with colorectal cancer, for instance to help cope with the disease emotionally and make it easier to go back to work.