Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Colorectal Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Frequently Asked Questions About Colorectal Cancer

2. I found a little bit of blood in my stool. Could I have colorectal cancer?

The earliest sign of colorectal cancer may be bleeding. But if you find blood in your stool, don't panic. A number of different conditions can cause bleeding, not just colon cancer. If you find blood in your stool, see your doctor so that a correct diagnosis can be made and proper treatment received.

Other symptoms to look out for if you suspect colon cancer include:

3. I recently had a colonoscopy and my doctor said they removed an adenoma during the procedure. What is an adenoma?

An adenoma is a benign, or non-cancerous polyp or growth in the lining of the large intestine. Adenomas are considered to be precursors of colon and rectal cancer.

Cancers of the colon and rectum can begin as an adenoma, but few adenomas (only 1 or 2 out of 100) ever become malignant (cancerous). This process takes several years. When polyps are discovered during an examination of the colon (such as the colonoscopy), doctors sometimes find it hard to tell which are pre-cancerous and which are not. Even among adenomas, it is impossible to tell which ones will become malignant, although larger adenomas are at a higher risk for becoming malignant. For this reason, all polyps in the colon and rectum are removed.

4. Should I change my diet to reduce my risk of getting colon cancer?

There has been substantial debate over whether diet affects a person's risk of colon cancer. It is believed that fiber is important to reduce colon cancer risk, although some studies have shown that a high-fiber diet really doesn't make a difference. However, diets rich in fat and cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.

Still, most scientists agree that people should continue to add fiber to their diets, as fiber-rich foods are an important source of nutrients and help prevent many other serious conditions, like heart disease. Research also shows that a high-fiber diet may help lower blood pressure, improve blood sugar, combat overeating, and help prevent other gastrointestinal conditions like diverticulosis (outpouchings of the lining of the intestine that are prone to bleeding and infection), constipation, and maybe even stomach and esophageal cancers.

Keep in mind that the best way to prevent colon cancer is to keep active, eat a balanced diet, maintain your ideal body weight, and schedule polyp screenings regularly after age 50, or earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer.

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
The right diagnosis is the most important factor.
man with a doctor
Our health check will steer you in the right direction.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
bladder cancer x-ray
Do you know the warning signs?
Colon vs Rectal Cancer
New Colorectal Treatments
can lack of sleep affect your immune system
Cancer Facts Quiz
Virtual Colonoscopy
Picture of the Colon
Vitamin D