Cancer, Colon

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Cancer, Colon

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

It is possible that the main title of the report Cancer, Colon is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Adenocarcinoma of the Colon
  • Cancer of the Colon
  • Cancer of the Large Intestine
  • Carcinoma of the Colon
  • Colonic Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Colon cancer is more commonly called colorectal cancer because the disorder most often affects both parts of the digestive tract, the colon and the rectum. It is one of the most common cancers found in the United States. The cause is unknown. In some people, the tendency to develop colon cancer may be inherited. Cancer is a disease in which the growth of abnormal cells, a tumor, leads to the destruction of healthy cells. If the tumor becomes invasive or aggressive, it may spread into the intestinal wall and to other sites, at which time the tumor is considered malignant.

Most malignant colon cancers and/or rectal cancers begin as apparently unthreatening (benign) growths (polyps) inside the colon or rectum. A colorectal polyp is a growth that projects (usually on a stalk) from the lining of the colon or rectum. Such polyps may become malignant although this is not always the case.

The symptoms of colorectal cancer may include changes in bowel habits, blood in the stools, constipation and/or diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and sometimes nausea. Surgery is generally performed to correct this type of cancer. It may be accompanied by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.


David G. Jagelman Inherited Colorectal Cancer Registries
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
W24-CORS Research
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Tel: (216)444-6470
Fax: (216)445-1133
Tel: (800)223-2273
Email: or

Johns Hopkins Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Registry
Johns Hopkins Hospital
1830 East Monument Stree
Room 431
Baltimore, MD 21205
Tel: (410)955-2635
Fax: (410)614-8337
Tel: (888)772-6566

American Cancer Society, Inc.
1599 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Tel: (404)320-3333
Tel: (800)227-2345
TDD: (866)228-4327

OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center Resource
3400 Spruce Street
2 Donner
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283
Tel: (215)349-8895
Fax: (215)349-5445

PMP Pals' Network
P.O. Box 6484
Salinas, CA 93912
Tel: (831)424-4545
Fax: (831)424-4545

Cancer Research UK
61 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, Intl WC2A 3PX
United Kingdom
Tel: 020 7121 6699
Fax: 020 7121 6700

Rare Cancer Alliance
1649 North Pacana Way
Green Valley, AZ 85614
Tel: (520)625-5495
Fax: (615)526-4921

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

Colorectal Cancer Network
PO Box 182
Kensington, MD 20895
Tel: (301)879-1500
Fax: (267)821-7080

Friends of Cancer Research
1800 M Street NW
Suite 1050 South
Washington, DC 22202
Tel: (202)944-6700

American Society of Clinical Oncology
2318 Mill Road
Suite 800
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (571)483-1780
Fax: (571)366-9537
Tel: (888)651-3038

Cancer Support Community
1050 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202)659-9709
Fax: (202)974-7999
Tel: (888)793-9355

Lance Armstrong Foundation
2201 E. Sixth Street
Austin, TX 78702
Tel: (512)236-8820
Fax: (512)236-8482
Tel: (877)236-8820

3 St. Andrews Place
London, NW1 4LB
Tel: 020 7486 0341
Fax: 020 7224 2012

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated:  7/23/2004
Copyright  1990, 1995, 1996, 2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

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