n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Early detection of colorectal cancer

Volume 31, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer and cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Although the majority of individuals who develop CRC have sporadic disease, up to 20% may have a genetic predisposition. Survival is strongly related to the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Where the cancer is locally confined, survival of over 90% has been reported. Randomised controlled trials have shown that screening programmes using faecal occult blood and flexible sigmoidoscopy reduce mortality from CRC by early cancer detection as well as detecting advanced adenomas which are likely to develop into cancers. Case-controlled trials have shown decreased mortality from CRC using colonoscopy as screening tool, and there are on-going randomised trials to study this.

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