What is bowel cancer?

Bowel cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the wall of the large bowel grow in an uncontrolled way. 

The bowel is part of the body’s digestive system. The small bowel refers to the small intestine. The large bowel includes the colon (large intestine), rectum and anal canal.  

Bowel cancer is also known as colorectal cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer. It can cause narrowing or blockage of the bowel, or bleeding. In advanced disease, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body to form secondary cancers (known as metastasis).