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Visc Med. 2016 Jun;32(3):158-64. doi: 10.1159/000446488. Epub 2016 Jun 16.

Diagnostics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, HELIOS Klinikum Berlin-Buch, Berlin, Germany.


Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Main risk factors include advanced age, family history, male sex, and lifestyle factors. Screening can reduce incidence and death from colorectal cancer. Therefore, prevention and early detection are crucial in order to detect and remove pre-neoplastic adenomas and to detect cancers at early stages. Colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and fecal occult blood tests are established tools for screening. Newer fecal immunochemical tests reveal higher sensitivities for advanced adenoma and cancer than guaiac-based hemoccult tests. Molecular stool and blood tests as well as virtual colonoscopy and colon capsule endoscopy are promising new developments so far not established as routine instruments for the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy is the method of choice for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer and for adenoma removal. Prognosis is essentially dependent on the tumor stage at the time of the initial diagnosis. Proper staging based on imaging prior to therapy is a prerequisite. In rectal cancer, local staging is an essential requirement for the identification of appropriate candidates for neoadjuvant therapy.


Colon cancer; Colonoscopy; Colorectal cancer; Diagnostics; Screening; Staging

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