Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most frequent gastrointestinal tumour. Most CRC appear to arise from adenomas of the colon in a period of 10 or 15 years. The ultimately progression of benign adenomas to malignant CRC is known as the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. In addition, the description of the "serrated pathway" has shifted the focus of interest also towards to sessile serrated adenomas and traditional serrated adenomas in the development of CRC. It has been proven that the screening colonoscopy might prevent CRC by early detection of adenomatous polyps as precursors for colorectal cancer and polypectomy. Thus, disease-associated mortality of CRC could be reduced. Colonoscopy, the gold standard in CRC diagnosis, is recommended to men and women from the age of 55. On the one hand, there are requirements to the endoscopists. On the other hand there are also essential requirements to pathologists' findings. After polypectomy a risk stratification for aftercare based on endoscopic and histological findings is necessary. Endoscopic follow-up of high-risk patients (≥ 3 tubular adenomas, ≥ 1 adenoma ≥ 1 cm, tubulovillous or villous adenoma, ≥ 1 adenoma with high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia, ≥ 10 adenoma no matter what size or histological findings) should be done sooner (< 3 years). In contrast, colonoscopy in low-risk patients (1 or 2 [tubular] adenomas, size < 1 cm) should be performed later rather than sooner (> 5 years). Colonoscopic surveys under 12 months should be done only in exceptional and very serious situations. Pharmaceutical chemoprevention of adenomas or CRC are still part of clinical trails. More data are necessary.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.