Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Colorectal cancer types

Almost all cancers found in the colon and the rectum are adenocarcinomas. Less common types of colorectal cancer include primary colorectal lymphomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, leiomyosarcomas, carcinoid tumors and melanomas.

Every colorectal cancer patient's case is unique. The cancer experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) have extensive experience in identifying, staging and diagnosing the disease and developing a treatment plan tailored to your specific type of cancer.

colorectal cancer types

Types of colorectal cancer

Adenocarcinomas make up 95 percent of all colorectal cancer cases. In the gastrointestinal tract, adenocarcinomas develop in the cells of the lining inside the colon and/or the rectum. They typically start as a growth of tissue called a polyp. A particular type of polyp called an adenoma may develop into cancer. Polyps are often removed during a routine colonoscopy before they may develop into cancer.

Of the rarer types of colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors grow slowly, form in the neuroendocrine cell and make up 1 percent of all colorectal cancers, whereas primary colorectal lymphomas develop in the lymphatic system and account for 0.5 percent of colorectal cancers. To learn more about these and other colorectal cancer types, explore the tabs to the left.

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Why nutrition matters


Our experts answer questions about nutritional needs for people with cancer.