Body mass index and colon cancer screening: the road ahead

World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Feb 7;21(5):1371-6. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i5.1371.


Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) has been associated with a decreased incidence and mortality from CRC. However, patient adherence to screening is less than desirable and resources are limited even in developed countries. Better identification of individuals at a higher risk could result in improved screening efforts. Over the past few years, formulas have been developed to predict the likelihood of developing advanced colonic neoplasia in susceptible individuals but have yet to be utilized in mass screening practices. These models use a number of clinical factors that have been associated with colonic neoplasia including the body mass index (BMI). Advances in our understanding of the mechanisms by which obesity contributes to colonic neoplasia as well as clinical studies on this subject have proven the association between BMI and colonic neoplasia. However, there are still controversies on this subject as some studies have arrived at different conclusions on the influence of BMI by gender. Future studies should aim at resolving these discrepancies in order to improve the efficiency of screening strategies.

Keywords: Adenomas; Adipokines; Body mass index; Colon cancer screening; Colorectal cancer; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Adenomatous Polyps / epidemiology
  • Body Mass Index*
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Early Detection of Cancer / trends*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Patient Selection
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors