Updated on 9 August 2012
Third most common cancer in Asia
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the colon or rectum. The majority of cancers occurring in the colon and rectum are adenocarcinomas, which account for more than 90 percent of all large bowel tumors. It is the fourth most common cancer worldwide, with over one million cases occurring every year. The mortality rate from CRC is approximately half of its global incidence. The five-year survival estimate for CRC on average is 55 percent, but is highly variable dependent on the stage of the disease (from 74 percent for patients with stage I disease to only six percent for stage IV patients).
The incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC) is rising rapidly in Asia. CRC now ranks as the third most common malignant disease in both men and women in Asia.i, ii Data from the cancer base of the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that the incidence in many affluent Asian countries is similar to that in the West.iii In Eastern Asia, countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore have experienced a two-to-four fold increase in incidence during the recent decades.iv Among the various ethnic groups in Asia, the incidence of CRC is significantly higher among the Chinese. According to the Chinese National Cancer Database of 2003, CRC was one of three cancers with the most rapidly increasing incidence (together with lung cancer and female breast cancer) in the country between 1991 and 2005.v
It is important to detect and treat colorectal cancer early, especially since it is rising in Asia at such an alarming rate. The data that we have with CORRECT is timely as Asians are now having more westernized diets and are leading sedentary lifestyles.
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