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Colorectal cancer screening: a global overview of existing programmes
  1. Eline H Schreuders1,
  2. Arlinda Ruco2,
  3. Linda Rabeneck3,4,5,6,7,
  4. Robert E Schoen8,
  5. Joseph J Y Sung9,
  6. Graeme P Young10,
  7. Ernst J Kuipers1
  1. 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Sunnybrook Research Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  6. 6Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  7. 7Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  8. 8Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  9. 9Institute of Digestive Disease, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  10. 10Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Eline H Schreuders, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, PO Box 2040, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands; e.schreuders{at}


Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks third among the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide, with wide geographical variation in incidence and mortality across the world. Despite proof that screening can decrease CRC incidence and mortality, CRC screening is only offered to a small proportion of the target population worldwide. Throughout the world there are widespread differences in CRC screening implementation status and strategy. Differences can be attributed to geographical variation in CRC incidence, economic resources, healthcare structure and infrastructure to support screening such as the ability to identify the target population at risk and cancer registry availability. This review highlights issues to consider when implementing a CRC screening programme and gives a worldwide overview of CRC burden and the current status of screening programmes, with focus on international differences.


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