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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Colorectal Cancer

According to the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, the colon and rectum are part of the large intestine (large bowel). Colon and rectum cancers, which are sometimes referred to together as “colorectal cancer,” arise from the lining of the large intestine. When cancer arises from the lining of an organ like the large intestine, it is called a carcinoma.

Internet Resources

Cancer.gov: Colorectal cancer
Provides access to authoritative documents from the National Cancer Institute, including information about treatment, supportive care and clinical trials.

MedlinePlus: Colorectal Cancer
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. Look for familiar links to places like the National Institutes of Health.

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Contains information about the many services offered by the Lurie Cancer Center, one of thirteen founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN).

Colon Cancer Alliance
Support and information for people touched by colorectal cancer. Provides information regarding available services, personal stories, financial issues, book reviews and current events.

My Biopsy
Provides information about cancer diagnosis and testing for colorectal cancer and other types of cancer. Maintained by the College of American Pathologists.


  • Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy: How Cancer is Diagnosed, Treated and Managed Day to Day. Dollinger M. 2008.
  • 100 questions & answers about life after cancer : a survivor's guide. Tolbert P. 2008.
  • American Cancer Society’s complete guide to colorectal cancer. Levin B. ed. 2006.
  • Gastrointestinal cancers: Gale encyclopedia of cancer. Longe J, ed. 2010. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or online at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library.
  • Colon & Rectal Cancer: A Comprehensive Guide for Patients & Families. Johnston L. 2000.


Search our collection for additional resources about cancer.

Journal Articles

  • “Know your colon screening options.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter Health After 50. 22(3):6-7. May 2010.
  • “Colon Cancer (Review).” Critical Reviews in Oncology-Hematology. Labianca R.74(2):106-33. May 2010.
  • “The latest developments in colon cancer surgery.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter Health After 50. 21(1):4-5. March 2009.


  • Colonoscopy. 15 min.


  • Model: The colon, including a picture guide of common pathologies
  • Chart: The anatomy of colon cancer: The progression from polyp to cancer


Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Alberto Culver Health Learning Center has joined forces with the American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigator Program to provide assistance to patients and families dealing with cancer. To take advantage of this unique service, provided by a licensed clinical social worker, call 312-926-4282.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Alberto Culver Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465, or e-mail us at HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateOctober 30, 2012