Pacific Cancer Programs

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Information for:


Program Managers and Coalition Members

The Community

(Click on any link above to view the selected section)

Colorectal Cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus.

Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people aged 50 years or older. For men, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after prostate and lung cancers. For women, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after breast and lung cancers.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn't have to be. If everybody aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, as many as 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Screening can find precancerous polyps-abnormal growths in the colon or rectum-so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.

If you are aged 50 or older, or think you may be at higher than average risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about getting screened.

Acknowledgment: This text is adapted from the CDC website.


MedlinePlus - Colorectal Cancer Link - MedlinePlus will direct you to information to help answer health questions. MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. MedlinePlus also has extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and latest health news. Please make sure you check the MedlinePlus online for Colorectal Cancer with an extensive, constantly updated resource list.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

More details about colorectal cancer, including medically graphic images, can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

The National Cancer Institute has up-to-date information for patients and practitioners about colorectal cancer.

American Cancer Society (ACS)

The American Cancer Society has extensive information for all aspects of colon cancer.

Printed Materials to Download

“The Basic Facts About Screening for Colorectal Cancer”

CDC 2006, 2 pages (for patients).

“What You Need To Know About™ Cancer of the Colon and Rectum”

NCI 2006, 51 pages.

NCI’s booklet helps you to learn about colon and rectal cancer symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and questions to ask your health care provider.

ASCO Answers: Colorectal Cancer

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2008, 2 pages.

ASCO Answers is a series of fact sheets that provides an introduction to a specific type of cancer. Each fact sheet is a PDF that includes an overview of what the cancer is, an illustration of where the cancer starts, how it is treated, terms to know, and questions to ask the doctor.

Quality Assurance and Improvement

The Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA)

PIHOA is dedicated to the health and well-being of the Pacific Island populations.

The links and documents on their website have been selected from a very large body of available materials about quality assurance (QA) and accreditation in health care, with the intention of including those that are especially useful for PIHOA members and their associates who are interested in building QA systems which fit with their local needs. The materials have been grouped into several sections.

Online Tools

Siteman Cancer Center: Colorectal Cancer Risk Questionnaire

Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the US. It’s also one of the most preventable. In fact, up to 70 percent of all cases could be prevented with healthy behaviors and regular screening tests.

To estimate your risk of colon cancer and learn about ways to lower that risk, take a few minutes to answer some questions about your health, background, and lifestyle.

Visuals Online from the National Cancer Institute

NCI Visuals Online contains images from the collections of the Office of Communications and Education and Office of Media Relations, National Cancer Institute. Contents include general biomedical and science-related images, cancer-specific scientific and patient care-related images, and portraits of directors and staff of the National Cancer Institute.

Traditional Medicine

In many cultures traditional medicine plays an important role in treating the sick or addressing disease. Traditional medicine, and its practice and philosophical and cultural manifestations differ greatly from culture to culture. There is not one size fits all explanation for traditional medicine. In many Pacific cultures traditional medicine play a vital role in a communities health care, but it is ultimately up to the individual to seek help from traditional healers or not.

In the past decade the term ‘integrative medicine’ has become more common, where both Traditional and Western medical concepts can work hand in hand, focusing on what is best for the patient. Many people may seek the advise from the traditional healers in their culture, but my be reluctant to disclose this to their Western doctor. Traditional medicine can be very beneficial for many ailments, although cancer is such a complex disease that using traditional medicine alone might not be the best available treatment option. Traditional medicine has been very successful in treating e.g. nausea or rashes that often go along with many cancer treatments and western medicine might provide little relieve.

If you chose to consult a traditional healer please try to discuss this with your doctor or contact your cancer coordinator to find out what treatment options are available on your island.

Disclaimer: The Web site provides links to other Internet sites and pdf files for informational purposes and the convenience of its users. When users select a link to an external Web site, they are leaving the Web site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external site. does not endorse organizations that sponsor linked, external Web sites. In addition, does not endorse products or services that such organizations may offer. Furthermore, does not control or guarantee the currency, accuracy, relevance, or completeness of information found on linked, external Web sites

Funding for this website was made possible by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the following:
Pacific CEED, award #: 5U58DP000976,USAPI Community Health Interventions Project (CHIP), award #: 1U58DP005810,
Pacific Regional Central Cancer Registry, award #: 5U58DP003906; Regional Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, award #: U55/CCU923887.
The views expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services;
nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by them or the U.S. Government.
Funding Sources: PRCCR: #: 5U58DP003906  | Pacific REACH: #: 1U58DP005810 | RCCC: #: U55/CCU923887 

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