The large intestine is one of the major sites for malignant disease in man, being in this respect second only to the lungs. About 16,500 persons die annually from colorectal cancer in England and Wales, and the tendency is for this figure to rise slowly. Considerable research has been directed at the problem of reducing the incidence of the disease and one of the main targets investigated has been the possibility that differences in environmental factors, such as diet and social habits, may be related to the variable incidence of colorectal cancer in different regions of the world. Any attempt to explain the aetiology of colorectal cancer cannot ignore what histopathological studies have revealed about the close relationship between intestinal adenomas and cancers. Moreover, such an attempt must also take into consideration the facts revealed by studies of the rare and interesting condition known as ‘familial polyposis coli’. Not only is it the outstanding example of the adenoma-carcinoma sequence, but it also introduces an irrefutable genetic factor into the problem.
KeywordsColorectal Cancer Large Intestine Familial Polyposis Epithelial Dysplasia Intestinal Cancer
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