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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Aug;24(4):407-16. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2010.06.007.

Targeting risk groups for screening.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical Center for Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland.


Currently colorectal cancer (CRC) screening guidelines are based on age and to some extent on family history of screenees only. Potentially CRC screening could be also customised according to gender, race, ethnicity, smoking habits, presence of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. The factors that could be individually modified are: choice of screening test, age of initiation of screening and screening intervals. Gender is probably the easiest factor to be included. One of the professional societies has already included the race into guidelines in order to lower the age of starting screening in African-Americans. Targeting persons at higher than average-risk aims at optimising the use of available resources. However, an important drawback of such approach exists; it is the risk of making guidelines too complex and incomprehensible for both eligible screenees and physicians.

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