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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. This article examines strategies for the prevention and early diagnosis of CRC, and reviews the aetiology and risk factors for CRC. Preventative strategies involve improving modifiable risk factors through public health awareness. Patients known to be at higher risk of CRC development, such as those with a genetic predisposition or long-standing inflammatory bowel disease, should undergo endoscopic surveillance in order to detect early cancer or polyps. Population screening for CRC is now strongly established as an effective method for the early detection of CRC and prevention through polypectomy. Screening has been shown to improve the stage of disease at diagnosis and CRC-specific mortality. This article will highlight recent developments in the understanding of the serrated pathway for CRC development and discuss the clinical relevance of this in terms of cancer prevention, as well as exploring future directions for research into the prevention and early diagnosis of CRC.

Original publication




Journal article


Medicine (United Kingdom)

Publication Date





295 - 298