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J Cancer. 2013;4(3):227-40. doi: 10.7150/jca.5835. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Significance of infectious agents in colorectal cancer development.

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  • 11. Combat Wound Initiative Program, Bethesda, MD, USA. ; 2. Diagnostics and Translational Research Center, Gaithersburg, MD, USA. ; 3. Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major burden to healthcare systems worldwide accounting for approximately one million of new cancer cases worldwide. Even though, CRC mortality has decreased over the last 20 years, it remains the third most common cause of cancer-related mortality, accounting for approximately 600,000 deaths in 2008 worldwide. A multitude of risk factors have been linked to CRC, including hereditary factors, environmental factors and inflammatory syndromes affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Recently, various pathogens were added to the growing list of risk factors for a number of common epithelial cancers, but despite the multitude of correlative studies, only suggestions remain about the possible relationship between selected viruses and bacteria of interest and the CRC risk. United States military service members are exposed to various risk factors impacting the incidence of cancer development. These exposures are often different from that of many sectors of the civilian population. Thereby, cancer risk identification, screening and early detection are imperative for both the military health care beneficiaries and the population as a whole. In this review, we will focus on several pathogens and their potential roles in development of CRC, highlighting the clinical trials evaluating this correlation and provide our personal opinion about the importance of risk reduction, health promotion and disease prevention for military health care beneficiaries.


bacteria; cancer risk.; colon cancer; colorectal cancer; infection; infectious agent; virus

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