Copyright ©The Author(s) 2024. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 21, 2024; 30(7): 644-651
Published online Feb 21, 2024. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v30.i7.644
Colon and rectal cancer: An emergent public health problem
Marina Pinheiro, David Nascimento Moreira, Michele Ghidini
Marina Pinheiro, LAQV, REQUIMTE, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
Marina Pinheiro, David Nascimento Moreira, Unidade de Saúde Pública, Unidade Local de Saúde Barcelos/Esposende, Barcelinhos 4755-069, Braga, Portugal
Michele Ghidini, Medical Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan 20122, Italy
Author contributions: Pinheiro M and Moreira DN contributed to the conceptualization and methodology of this study; Pinheiro M, Moreira DN, and Ghidini M were involved in the writing-original draft preparation, review and editing of this manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All the authors report no relevant conflicts of interest for this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Michele Ghidini, MD, PhD, Consultant Physician-Scientist, Staff Physician, Medical Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via F. Sforza, 35, Milan 20122, Italy.
Received: October 8, 2023
Peer-review started: October 8, 2023
First decision: December 8, 2023
Revised: December 22, 2023
Accepted: January 22, 2024
Article in press: January 22, 2024
Published online: February 21, 2024

Colorectal cancer ranks third globally, with a high mortality rate. In the United States, and different countries in Europe, organized population screenings exist and include people between 50 and 74 years of age. These screenings have allowed an early diagnosis and consequently an improvement in health indicators. Colon and rectal cancer (CRC) is a disease of particular interest due to the high global burden associated with it and the role attributed to prevention and early diagnosis in reducing morbidity and mortality. This study is a review of CRC pathology and includes the most recent scientific evidence regarding this pathology, as well as a diagnosis of the epidemiological situation of CRC. Finally, the recommendation from a public health perspective will be discussed in detail taking into account the context and the most current recommendations.

Keywords: Colon and rectal neoplasia, Colon and rectal tumor, Mortality, Morbidity

Core Tip: Colon and rectal cancers (CRC) are important public health problems. Epidemiological studies, morbidity and mortality indicators demonstrate the high burden of colorectal cancer on individuals and society. To face this issue, several measures are urgently need. Improved therapies and precision medicine for patients with CRC are required. Prevention is fundamental through dietary and lifestyle measures, along with early diagnosis.