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N Engl J Med. 1995 Mar 30;332(13):861-7.

Screening for colorectal cancer.

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Gastroenterology Section, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94121.


In the past few years, knowledge of the clinical, biologic, and molecular genetic characteristics of colorectal cancer has greatly increased. Although the most cost-effective approach remains to be identified, screening for colorectal cancer can decrease mortality due to this disease by detecting cancers at earlier stages and allowing the removal of adenomas, thus preventing the subsequent development of cancer. Molecular studies that have helped define the genetic basis for this disease hold great promise for the development of better and more powerful methods to identify populations at risk. Individually, these technological, clinical, and basic-science advances are exciting; together, they promise to move us closer to the goal of substantially reducing mortality due to colorectal cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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