Speaking at ECCO 13, leading expert in colorectal cancer epidemiology and prevention, Professor Peter Boyle from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), France, highlighted the important public health problem posed by the disease. In Europe in 2004, an estimated 197,200 men were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, representing 12.8% of new cancer cases. In the same year, colorectal cancer was diagnosed in approximately 179,200 women, representing 13% of new cancer cases and making it the second most common incident form of cancer in women.
Given that the majority of colorectal cancers occur in older people, and that the world's population as a whole is aging, this warrants further impetus to investigate prevention and treatment strategies among this subgroup of the population. Screening research, recommendations and implementation were highlighted by Professor Boyle as an obvious priority. In many European countries, only pilot programmes for colorectal screening are in place and mechanisms to ensure adequate coverage of the target groups need to be evaluated. However, some countries, such as Germany, have successfully implemented screening programmes. European Council Recommendations on Cancer Screening 2003 advise colorectal screening for men and women aged between 50 and 74. Professor Boyle concluded that Europe's goal should be to develop public health strategies to control the incidence of colorectal cancer in a rapidly aging European population.
With the situational perspective on colorectal cancer established, Nordic researchers presented their findings from a study evaluating different transatlantic treatment regimens for the metast
Contact: Kirsten Mason
Federation of European Cancer Societies