Bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) is a cancer of the colon or rectum
When your doctor talks about bowel cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) they are referring to cancer of the colon or rectum.
Most bowel cancers develop from tiny growths called 'polyps'. Not all polyps become cancerous.
Over time some polyps, known as adenomas, can become cancerous (malignant). Cancer can narrow and block the bowel or cause bleeding. In more advanced cases, the cancer can spread beyond the bowel to other organs.
As most bowel cancers start as polyps, all polyps should be removed to reduce your risk of developing the disease. Almost all polyps can be removed without an operation during the procedure of colonoscopy.
Once removed from the bowel, the polyp can no longer develop into cancer. Even if a polyp develops into cancer, in its early stages it can be cured by surgery.