Colorectal cancer: evolution of screening strategies
Background and aim. Colorectal cancer is considered to be a major public health problem. It is the third most frequent cancer at a global level and also the fourth most frequent cause of death. Previous scientific findings have proved that a significant percentage of colorectal cancer deaths are due to the abscence of screening. The aim of this review is to present the evolution of the screening strategies by using the most recommended and recent colorectal cancer screening guidelines.
Methods. A systematic literature search on the scientific databases was performed, identifying some of the most important colorectal cancer screening guidelines publications.
Results. The most recent guidelines of American Cancer Society (2018) recommend that adults aged 45 years and older with an average risk of colorectal cancer should undergo regular screening. All the guidelines have considered fecal occult blood testing (annual or biennial), fecal immunochemical test (annual), flexible sigmoidoscopy (every 5 years) and colonoscopy (every 10 years) as the most preferred screening options. However, there are discrepancies with regards to which tests should be preferred for screening.
Conclusion. Increased compliance with colorectal cancer screening recommendations has the potential to improve patients’ health and to reduce colorectal cancer morbidity and mortality rates. It is important for health care providers to have an understanding of the risk factors for colorectal cancer and various stages of disease development in order to recommend appropriate screening strategies.