Lower Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer research

Lower gastrointestinal cancers include colorectal cancer and small bowel cancer.

Colorectal cancer

Bowel cancer is cancer that starts in the large bowel (colon) or back passage (rectum). It is also known as colorectal cancer. Around 41,800 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK each year. It is the 4th most common cancer in the UK. Both men and women can get bowel cancer. Most people are aged 50 or over when they are diagnosed.

Colon cancer starts in the first part of the large bowel known as the colon. It is about 5 foot long and has 4 sections where cancer can develop.

Rectal cancer starts in the last part of the large bowel that stores stool until it is ready to be passed out of the body.

Research at CCC is investigating different ways to treat colorectal cancer using chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Small bowel cancer

The small bowel makes up most of the digestive tract. Cancers of the small bowel are rare, with around 1,500 people diagnosed in the UK each year. It is about 6 metres long, but it is folded up so that it fits inside the abdomen. Around 4 out of 10 small bowel cancers are adenocarcinomas, making it the most common type. It starts in cells that line the bowel (epithelial cells) and develops most often in the duodenum. Research at CCC is taking place to investigate the potential benefit of treating small bowel adenocarcinomas with chemotherapy following surgery.