Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (MCRC)

An Overview of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (MCRC)

Metastatic colorectal cancer, or MCRC, is an advanced form of cancer that has spread to other parts of the body beyond the colon or rectum. It is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and it is estimated that nearly 37,000 people died from metastatic colorectal cancer in 2020.

MCRC most commonly affects people ages 50 and older, although it can also affect younger adults. Studies show that men are more likely than women to develop MCRC. This is often related to lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity level.

MCRC is usually the result of an adenocarcinoma, which is a type of cancer that starts in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. An adenocarcinoma may spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, and bloodstream. Symptoms of metastatic colorectal cancer vary depending on the location of the cancer and may include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Unusual bowel habits

If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to contact your doctor. They will perform a physical examination as well as blood and imaging tests to determine a diagnosis. After a diagnosis is made, your doctor will discuss the best treatment approach for you, which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of treatments.

If you've been diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer, you will need to work closely with your healthcare team to develop a comprehensive care plan that fits your specific needs. It is important to stay as positive and proactive as possible while facing this challenging diagnosis. Remain hopeful and remember that, while metastatic colorectal cancer can be deadly, many people are living longer and healthier lives with this disease.