Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. It is cancer that starts in the colon and can develop slowly.

"The term colorectal cancer describes all cases of cancer that start in the colon or rectum. The way I usually describe the anatomy to patients is that we eat food that passes through the esophagus, stomach, and onto a long and winding part of the digestive tract called the small intestines, before passing digested remaining portions to the colon and the rectum," said Emil Lou, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine. "As a whole in the U.S., colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women with nearly 150,000 new cases each year."

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. As part, Dr. Lou answered several questions ranging from symptoms and screenings to treatments for colorectal cancer.