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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2012 Mar;21(3):398-410. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0771. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Risk prediction models for colorectal cancer: a review.

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  • 1Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.


Risk prediction models are important to identify individuals at high risk of developing the disease who can then be offered individually tailored clinical management, targeted screening and interventions to reduce the burden of disease. They are also useful for research purposes when attempting to identify new risk factors for the disease. In this article, we review the risk prediction models that have been developed for colorectal cancer and appraise their applicability, strengths, and weaknesses. We also discuss the factors to be considered for future development and improvement of models for colorectal cancer risk prediction. We conclude that there is no model that sufficiently covers the known risk factors for colorectal cancer that is suitable for assessment of people from across the full range of risk and that a new comprehensive model is needed.

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