Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the cancer of the colon or the rectum. Approximately 1.4 million people worldwide are diagnosed with CRC each year, therefore CRC is the most common cancer and its mortality rate is 50% of its incidence.
Despite these data if the disease is detected in its early stages, treatment is often able to cure it completely, usually though surgical procedures. When colorectal cancer is found at the early stage 90% of the patients live at least 5 years (many patients live more than 5 or 10 years, and many are cured).
Therefore, the challenge of the diagnostic tests of CRC is to achieve the early detection of the disease. Currently, just 30-40% of CRC cases are diagnosed in early stages.
Several risk factors increase your chance of developing CRC:
- Age increases the risk to develop CRC: More than 9 out of 10 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at least 50 years old.
- Medical conditions: previous cancer in the large intestine, colorectal polyps, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), women with breast, uterin and ovarian cancer history.
- Family history of CRC or adenomatous polyps.
- Lifestyle and diet: A sedentary lifestyle and obesity, and a diet rich in red meat, processed meats and fats but low in fresh fruit, vegetable, poultry and fish, are linked to colorectal cancer.
- Smoking and excessive alcohol
Most colorectal cancers start with the abnormal growth (polyp) on the inner surface of the colon or rectum. Approximately 15-20% of the adult population is affected by colon and rectal polyps. Most, however, do not progress to malignancy, but about 1 in 10 polyps can enlarge and become cancerous over time.
COLODETECT is a diagnostic test for the early detection of colorectal cancer. Immune system from patients reacts against the tumor generating several proteins (antibodies) that can be measured in a simple blood test at the beginning of the disease before symptoms are present.