5. Colorectal Cancer

  1. Janusz Jankowski MB ChB, MSc, MD, PhD, FRCP, FACG, AGAF2,3,4 and
  2. Ernest Hawk MD, MPH5
  1. Shahab Ahmed and
  2. Cathy Eng

Published Online: 15 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118423318.ch5

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer

Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer

How to Cite

Ahmed, S. and Eng, C. (2012) Colorectal Cancer, in Handbook of Gastrointestinal Cancer (eds J. Jankowski and E. Hawk), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118423318.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Sir James Black Professor of Gastrointestinal Biology and Trials, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Barts and Th e London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

  2. 3

    Consultant Gastroenterologist, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, UK

  3. 4

    James Black Senior Fellow, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  4. 5

    Vice President and Division Head, Division of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences, Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair for Early Prevention of Cancer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Author Information

  1. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2012
  2. Published Print: 12 JUL 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470656242

Online ISBN: 9781118423318



  • Colon;
  • rectal;
  • cancer;
  • metastasis;
  • epidemiology;
  • screening;
  • diagnosis;
  • prognosis;
  • surveillance;
  • survivorship


The biology of colorectal cancer has expanded to encompass a wide spectrum from disease evolution to outcomes. Its variable sporadic and familial patterns have been the focus for advancement of research in areas such as genetics, molecular biology, pharmacology, and clinical sciences for many decades. Colorectal cancer screening is lifesaving, emphasizing a critical need for education and awareness. Unlike other cancers, colorectal cancer is curable upon early detection and proper surgical management. Recently, the availability of targeted therapeutics used alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapy has demonstrated increased survival with reduced toxicity, even in patients with advanced disease. Quality of life remains a major concern for patients due to acute and chronic toxicities and the inability to cure patients with surgically unresectable disease, where the duration of chemotherapy is indefinite. This chapter covers the origin of colorectal cancer, associated economic burdens, pathophysiology, advances in screening, available treatments and trials outcomes, risk factor analyses, and ethical issues, all of which are expected to help clinicians enhance their knowledge of colorectal cancer management.