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Primary and secondary prevention of colorectal cancer: An evidencebased review
  1. Sandra J. Gonzalez1,
  2. Maria C. Mejia de Grubb1 and
  3. Robert S. Levine1
  1. 1. Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA
  1. Corresponding Author: Sandra J. Gonzalez, MSSW, LCSW Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 3701 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098, USA E-mail: sandra.gonzalez{at}


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common cancer that affects one in three men and one in four women worldwide. Late-stage detection is associated with significantly lower 5-year survival rates. Although it is well established that CRC mortality rates have decreased in the past several decades, adoption of routine screening continues to lag behind screening for other common cancers such as cervical and breast cancer. The decrease in overall rates has been attributed, in part, to improved primary and secondary prevention efforts, including smoking prevention and cessation programs, nutritional counseling, and the use of evidence-based screening protocols, as well as access to better treatment. Despite the increased screening rates, it is estimated that at least one-third of eligible people do not receive appropriate screening. The objective of this review is to describe the current epidemiology of CRC and to demonstrate effective primary and secondary prevention strategies for the primary care provider.

  • Colorectal cancer
  • adenocarcinoma
  • modifiable risk factors
  • primary prevention
  • secondary prevention
  • primary care

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