Colorectal cancer (CRC) holds the woeful record of being the most preventable but least prevented type of cancer. Although healthy lifestyles and screening programs associated to early polyp removal greatly reduce CRC incidence and CRC-related death, the overall lack of information and of effective preventive policies is promoting an overwhelming global escalation of this disease. Moreover, new challenges such as the increasing occurrence of aggressive CRC in young adults highlight underlying changes not only in the incidence but also in the nature of this disease. In this scenario, CRC prevention should also undergo a significant transformation, embracing not only individual initiatives but also issues of social and international relevance. The nascent network of countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin (COLOMED, the COLOrectal cancer MEDiterranean network) serves as a paradigm of international cooperation aimed at broadening scientific collaboration and promoting effective health policies in CRC research and prevention.
Keywords: colorectal cancer; cooperation; prevention.