Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Britain and it has been estimated that by the age of 75 about 3% of men and women will have been affected by it (Bingham 1990). Although the crude annual incidence rates have shown a highly significant increase during the period of our review much of this is attributable to the increasing proportion of elderly persons in the population. If these incidence rates are standardized for age those in women do, in fact, remain fairly stable but in men, the increasing trend persists (Table 2.2).
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