Colon cancer affects the large intestine and usually begins as small polyps that become colon cancers, according to Mayo Clinic. The hepatic flexure is part of the colon between the ascending colon and transverse colon and is closest to the liver. Any cancer in the lower gastrointestinal tract, including the hepatic flexure, is known as a colorectal cancer, states the Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Center.
Symptoms of colon cancer include rectal bleeding, change in the bowel habits and unexplained weight loss. People do not always experience symptoms in the early stages of cancer and the symptoms may vary depending on the location of the cancer in the colon, reports Mayo Clinic. Some risk factors for colon cancer are advanced age, family history of colon cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases of the colon. Lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking and diabetes can increase the risk of colon cancer.
Colon cancer is divided into stages. Stage I colon cancers only involve the inner linings of the colon, while stage II shows greater growth of the tumor, according to MedicineNet. Stage III colon cancers spread to the local lymph nodes and stage IV cancers spread to organs far from the colon. Surgery is the most common treatment for colon cancer.