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Introduction to colorectal cancer 

Introduction to colorectal cancer
Chapter:
Introduction to colorectal cancer
Author(s):

Mike Braun

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199590209.003.0001
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date: 07 April 2020

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the three most common incident cancers and causes of cancer related death

Most CRC is sporadic with approximately 5% of colorectal cancer due to autosomal dominant hereditary conditions (FAP and Lynch syndrome)

Environmental and dietary factors are important in the development of CRC as evidenced by data from migrant studies. The precise impact of lifestyle factors is difficult to measure due to problems in assessment and consideration of potential confounding factors

The molecular basis of hereditary and sporadic colorectal cancers is increasingly well understood. Mutations and deletions in key genes such as APC in FAP and the MMR genes in Lynch syndrome have been identified. The step-wise accumulation of genetic abnormalities (APC, KRAS, p53, etc) has been recognized in sporadic tumours

The predominant staging systems are Dukes’ and TNM which are used internationally and provide important prognostic information which can guide therapeutic decisions.

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