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Volume 66 - 2003 - Fasc.1 - Case series

Primary prevention of colorectal cancer

Colorectal adenocarcinoma is the second most com- mon cancer in the industrialised countries. In Belgium, more than 6000 new cases are diagnosed every year, among whom more than 50% will die of the disease (1), despite constant progress in treatment modalities, including surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Colon cancers arise as a result of a series of pathologic and molecular changes, which transform the normal cell into a cancerous cell, with an adenomatous polyp as an intermediate step in most cases. Necropsy data reveal that adenomatous polyps are as frequent as 50 percent in the general population by the age of 70 (2).