Lower gastrointestinal cancer (also called bowel or colorectal cancer) happens in the large intestine of the digestive system. The digestive system (how we eat and process food) has two intestines that travel from the stomach to the anus. The large intestine is about 1.5 metres long and is the lowest part of the digestive system. The two intestines are:
- Small intestine (or small bowel) – where food comes from the stomach and is further broken down into vitamins and nutrients we need to live
- Large intestine (or large bowel) – is connected to the small intestine. This is where the food product passes to, from the small intestine. This food product moves into the colon, where water is absorbed from it and the leftover remains (or waste) then pass into the rectum (the last few inches of the colon) and leaves the body via the anus (bowel motion).