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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is bowel cancer? (also known as colorectal or colon cancer)?

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  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    When your doctor talks about bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) they are referring to cancer of the colon or rectum.
    Bowel cancer is a malignant growth that develops most commonly in the lining of the large bowel (also known as the colon).  Most bowel cancers develop from tiny growths called ‘polyps’.  Not all polyps become cancerous. 
    Over time some polyps can become cancerous.  Cancer can narrow and block the bowel or cause bleeding.  In more advanced cases, the cancer can spread beyond the bowel to other organs.
    As most bowel cancers start as polyps, all polyps should be removed to reduce your risk of developing the disease.  Almost all polyps can be removed without an operation during the procedure of colonoscopy.
    Once removed from the bowel, the polyp can no longer develop into cancer.  Even if a polyp develops into cancer, in its early stages it can be cured by surgery.
    Information taken from the Bowel Cancer Australia website

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