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01.09.2014 | short review | Ausgabe 3/2014

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 3/2014

Colorectal cancer: screening and some notes on the prevention

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 3/2014
MD Paul Bergmeister, MD Alois Hermann Lang


At the moment cancer screening is a hot topic which is widely discussed in scientific as well as in popular press. The expected benefits, improvement of prognosis and the reduction of mortality, must be weighed against potential harms, such as the risk of over-diagnosis, false-positive findings, and complications of invasive screening examinations. Screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer has proven to be effective and is therefore recommended by major medical societies and international guidelines. Different tests for colorectal cancer screening are available. Besides established strategies using fecal occult blood test and colonoscopy new and potentially less invasive techniques are on the rise. Our aim is to discuss different strategies for colorectal cancer screening and to present the available screening tests. According to the World Health Organization prevention is the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the fight against cancer. Almost half of all cancer deaths are related to preventable causes. In general, life style modification and some dietary advices can be recommended, but the role of micronutrient supplements remains unclear. There is mounting evidence that some drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, statins, or metformin may have a chemoprotective effect, but is there enough evidence to give general recommendations?

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