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Colon and rectal cancer (colorectal cancer)

Large bowel and its surroundings

Schematic diagram of large bowel and its surroundings (click on the picture to enlarge it).

Source: Wikipedia

What is the large bowel and what is its function?

The bowel is part of our digestive system. It is divided into two parts, the small bowel and the large bowel. The large bowel is made up of the colon and rectum. Once food has been swallowed, it passes down the gullet (oesophagus) to the stomach, where digestion begins. It then passes through the small bowel, where essential nutrients are taken into the body. The digested food then moves into the large bowel, and water is absorbed by the colon. The colon starts at the bottom, right-hand side of the abdomen. The first part goes up and is known as the ascending colon (colon ascendens). It then goes across to the left side of the abdomen. This part is called the transverse colon (colon transversum). It then goes down to the bottom of the abdomen: this part is called the descending colon (colon descendens), and ends in the sigmoid colon (colon sigmoideum), rectum and anus. The inside of the bowel is lined with epithelium.

Source: Czech Society of Oncology

What is colon and rectal cancer (colorectal cancer)?

There are several types of large bowel cancer and they are named after the cells that they develop from. Adenocarcinomas are the most common type of large bowel cancer. These tumours start in the lining of internal layer of the bowel. Other types of malignant tumours in the large bowel (such as lymphoma or carcinoid) are rather rare. These tumours are treated in another way than adenocarcinomas, and they often have other symptoms, too. This information is mainly about adenocarcinoma of the large bowel and rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have a lot in common, and they are often referred to as colorectal cancer. However, there are some differences, particularly as regards their treatment

Source: Czech Society for Oncology

Incidence of colorectal cancer in the Czech Republic

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers and its incidence rates in all developed countries are growing steadily. In international comparison, the burden of colorectal cancer in the Czech Republic is comparable to that in European countries on average. According to the latest data from 2018, Czech male colorectal cancer incidence rates rank 14th in Europe, while female rates rank 19th in Europe. Each year around 7,700 patients are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the Czech Republic, and the number of CRC deaths is almost 3,400.

Figure 1: Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in the Czech Republic. Figure 2: Colorectal cancer incidence in international comparison.
colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in the Czech Republic

More detailed information on colorectal cancer in the Czech Republic is available in the articles Epidemiology of colorectal cancer in the Czech Republic and Epidemiology of colorectal cancer: international comparison.

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 Last updated on 21 January 2021