Bowel cancer is a malignant tumour that has developed either in the colon or in the rectum or in both.
Cancer of the colon and cancer of the rectum are sometimes referred to collectively as colo-rectal cancer but most people know them both under the generic name `bowel cancer’.
Studies have shown that most colorectal cancers begin as a polyp, which over a period of years, becomes malignant. A polyp is a non-malignant growth of tissue from the intestinal wall which protrudes into the intestine. Not all polyps turn into cancer of course, but having polyps does increase your risk of developing cancer. Polyps can sometimes be inherited and there is a hereditary condition known as familial polyposis which can inevitably increase your chances of developing bowel cancer.