The Cancer Committee of the College of American Pathologists has updated and expanded their protocol for the pathologic examination and reporting of specimens from patients with colorectal carcinoma, which was originally developed in 1989. The updated protocol incorporates all basic pathology data of diagnostic and prognostic significance appropriate for the treatment of patients with colorectal carcinoma. The purpose of the protocol is to serve as a basis for the development of checklists, as an outline for full narrative reporting, as a basis for research protocols, or as a guide for other types of synoptic or reporting formats. The protocol is stratified to accommodate the surgical procedures usually employed for colorectal carcinomas, including incisional endoscopic biopsy, polypectomy, local excision (transanal disc excision), and colon/colorectal resection (eg, segmental resection, total colectomy, abdominoperoneal resection). Explanatory notes detailing specific procedures and rationales for documentation of specific pathologic data are included in the protocol. The protocol uses the recently revised TNM staging system for colorectal carcinoma defined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer and the International Union Against Cancer.