Colon Cancer

Colon (colorectal) cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp — malignant cells gather and form in the colon tissues, causing cancer. Risk factors for the disease include a family history of colon or rectal cancer, a personal history of high-risk adenomas, Chron disease, Lynch syndrome, and certain lifestyle habits (like diets high in red meat). According to the National Cancer Institute’s data, the five-year survival rate is above 64%, but increases significantly if the disease has not spread. There are many tests that detect and diagnose colorectal cancer including a physical exam, colonoscopy, and biopsy. In addition, treatment options depend on the stage but include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and targeted therapy.

A number of researchers at the Cancer Center at Illinois have focused on understanding and improved diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer, with projects ranging from cell analysis to imaging innovations.


Materials Science & Engineering, Animal Sciences, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cell & Developmental Biology, Mechanical Science & Engineering


Jianjun Cheng Headshot

Jianjun Cheng

Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Images of Rex Gaskins

Rex Gaskins

Associate Director for Education

Professor, Animal Sciences

Image of Viktor Gruev

Viktor Gruev

Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Image of Prasanth Kumar Kannanganattu

Prasanth Kumar Kannanganattu

Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology

Image of Jason Ridlon

Jason Ridlon

Assistant Professor, Animal Sciences

Image of Taher Saif

Taher Saif

Professor, Mechanical Science and Engineering