Colorectal cancer is one of the most common reasons for bowel surgery. Colorectal cancer, or bowel cancer, is a general term that describes cancer affecting the colon, rectum or anus.
In the UK each year there are 34,000 cases, with a predominance of men over women and the disease accounts for some 17,000 deaths a year [Colorectal Cancer 2nd edition 2002].
Many genes have now been identified to have an influence on the development of malignancy. Overall, genetic predisposition accounts for around 6% of all cases of colorectal cancers in the UK.
If you have a relative, parent or child that has been diagnosed before the age of 45 with colorectal cancer, you have a four-fold higher chance of developing cancer. If cancer has developed after the age of 60 you have the same chance as the rest of the population.