Epidemiology and Carcinogenesis of Rectal Cancer

  • Jai Bikhchandani
  • Alan G. Thorson
  • Henry T. Lynch


Cancer of the colon and rectum is extremely common in the Western hemisphere. The etiopathogenesis of colorectal cancer is an intertwined play of several genetic and environmental factors to which an individual is exposed to during the lifetime. The predominance of one factor over another decides the timing of development of this cancer with respect to the individual’s age. Familial syndromes like Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis predispose an individual to cancer early in their lifespan since they carry the genetic mutation. A sporadic cancer, on the other hand, follows a very interesting and often predictable path from a polyp to carcinoma. There are three such pathways which the colonic epithelium may undertake toward the development of cancer. Each of the pathways has its own unique set of genotypic and phenotypic expression which needs to be understood well to accomplish our ultimate goal for prevention of colorectal cancer.


Colorectal cancer Epidemiology Lynch syndrome Carcinogenesis Polyp-carcinoma sequence 



This work was supported by revenue from Nebraska cigarette taxes awarded to Creighton University by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the State of Nebraska or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jai Bikhchandani
    • 1
  • Alan G. Thorson
    • 2
  • Henry T. Lynch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Preventive MedicineCreighton UniversityOmahaUSA
  2. 2.Colon and Rectal Surgery Inc.OmahaUSA

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