Screening for colorectal cancer

N Engl J Med. 1995 Mar 30;332(13):861-7. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199503303321306.


In the past few years, knowledge of the clinical, biologic, and molecular genetic characteristics of colorectal cancer has greatly increased. Although the most cost-effective approach remains to be identified, screening for colorectal cancer can decrease mortality due to this disease by detecting cancers at earlier stages and allowing the removal of adenomas, thus preventing the subsequent development of cancer. Molecular studies that have helped define the genetic basis for this disease hold great promise for the development of better and more powerful methods to identify populations at risk. Individually, these technological, clinical, and basic-science advances are exciting; together, they promise to move us closer to the goal of substantially reducing mortality due to colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / economics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Genes, APC
  • Germ-Line Mutation
  • Humans
  • Occult Blood
  • Sigmoidoscopy / economics