Colorectal Cancer 101
What is mCRC?
Colorectal cancer is a disease that develops when abnormal cells in the colon or rectum divide without control. When this happens, they form a growth or a primary tumor.
As the primary tumor grows, here's what can happen:
- The tumor spreads to nearby tissue outside the colon or rectum
- Cancer cells eventually break away and travel through the bloodstream or lymph system
- Cancer cells form new tumors in other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs
This spreading process is called metastasis. Your health care team may refer to it as stage IV colorectal cancer, advanced colorectal cancer, or mCRC.
Even though the cancer has spread to a new part of the body, the new tumors are made up of cells from the original tumor in the colon or rectum. So it is still considered colorectal cancer.
Where CRC grows
Colorectal cancers develop in the large intestine. The first 6 feet of the large intestine include the large bowel or colon. The final 6 inches make up the rectum and the anal canal. The anal canal ends at the anus (the opening of the large intestine to the outside of the body).
Cancer can develop in any of the 4 sections of the colon or rectum:
- Ascending colon
- Transverse colon
- Descending colon
- Sigmoid or S-shaped colon
Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Guide
This guide provides information about metastatic colorectal cancer, practical tips to help you cope, and valuable support resources for you and your family.Download the guide now