Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
Despite being highly preventable and/or treatable with early screening, there are approximately 1.4 million new cases of CRC diagnosed world-wide each year, contributing to nearly 700,000 deaths. In the U.S., estimates for 2016 were 134,000 new cases of colorectal cancer and 49,000 colorectal cancer deaths.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the deadliest yet preventable and curable malignancies if diagnosed at a precancerous or early stage The American Cancer Society, in conjunction with the major GI and Radiology societies, has classified CRC screening tests as either a cancer prevention test or a cancer detection test. Preventive tests are imaging-based because of the need to identify precancerous polyps (adenomas) for removal, in addition to cancer. These tests include flexible sigmoidoscopy, optical colonoscopy, capsule colonoscopy, and CT colonography.
Detection tests, based on sampling stool or blood, have low sensitivity for detecting large adenomas (<50%) and are not considered preventive.
In recent years, a significant decline in the incidence of CRC has been attributed to regular screening, which should be carried out between the ages of 50 – 75 years, according to recommendations by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. Yet, in 2015, only 63% of adults were current with screening recommendations.
There are many reasons why a large percentage of the population does not undergo screening, however research has shown that a significant factor is the unattractiveness of specific features of certain testing methodologies.