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08-11-2014 | Colorectal cancer | Article

2. Epidemiology and Burden of Rectal Cancer

Author: MD, FACS, FASCRS David E. Beck

Publisher: Springer London


Rectal cancer is common and is associated with a significant economic burden. The incidence of rectal cancer has geographical variation based on access to care and risk factors. Causal factors such as the patient’s age, personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, cancer or polyps and family history of cancer are not modifiable. However, the Western style of diet, limited physical activity and the use of alcohol and tobacco have been causally associated with the development of colorectal cancer and can be altered. Fortunately, the vast majority of cases and deaths from colorectal cancer can be prevented by applying existing knowledge about cancer prevention. Appropriate dietary changes, regular physical activity and maintenance of healthy weight, together with targeted screening programs and early therapeutic intervention could, in time, substantially reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with colorectal cancer.

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