Z Gastroenterol 2008; 46: 41-42
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-963483

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Can the Identification of High Risk Groups Increase the Effectiveness of Colon Cancer Screening Programmes?

H. F. A. Vasen1
  • 1The Netherlands Foundation for the Detection of Hereditary Tumours & Department of Gastroenterology, Leiden University Medical Centre
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
26 March 2008 (online)

The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) for any individual in Europe is approximately 5 %. Annually, approximately 400 000 individuals are being diagnosed with CRC in Europe. Almost half of these patients die within 5 years after diagnosis. Periodic examination of individuals at high risk of developing CRC improves the prognosis because the tumours can be detected and treated at an early stage. Identification of these high risk groups should therefore be the first priority in the prevention of CRC.

In this overview, the various high-risk groups are described including the reported risk of developing CRC for each group and the estimated frequency in the population. Secondly, the surveillance protocols which are recommended in familial and hereditary forms of CRC and the effectiveness of these protocols will be discussed. Finally, we will address the identification of high risk groups.


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Hans FA Vasen

The Netherlands Foundation for the Detection of Hereditary Tumours & Department of Gastroenterology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Rijnsburgerweg 10

2333 Leiden

The Netherlands

Email: hfavasen@stoet.nl