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Epidemiology of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer


Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA, drives a conversation regarding the epidemiology of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) in the US.

In this AJMC® Peer Exchange on “Important Updates in the Management of Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer,” Ryan Haumschild, PharmD, MS, MBA, director of pharmacy services at Emory Healthcare and Winship Cancer Institute, leads a discussion with notable experts in the field. These experts include John L. Marshall, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; Ben George, MD, professor of medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and David Fenstermacher, PhD, senior director of research and medical affairs at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

The discussion covers various critical aspects of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), starting with its prevalence in the United States. Dr Marshall emphasizes that colorectal cancer is one of the most common and fatal cancer types globally, with 150,000 new cases annually in the United States, resulting in it being the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. A striking trend is the increasing occurrence of colorectal cancer in younger patients, significantly impacting their lives.

Dr George sheds light on the risk factors associated with colorectal cancer. Approximately 20% to 30% of patients with colorectal cancer have hereditary factors contributing to the disease. Hereditary gene mutations play a role in cancer development, as do conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. Lifestyle factors such as obesity, diabetes, and dietary choices may also have an effect on colorectal cancer risk. However, the speakers note that there is much more to discover, and systematic testing of patients’ genomes is crucial for a comprehensive understanding of the disease.

The discussion touches on the importance of early detection, lifestyle considerations, and the evolving field of precision medicine. The prevalence and risk factors discussed here provide valuable insights for health care professionals and researchers working to improve the treatment and outcomes for patients with mCRC. With the growing number of younger patients affected, there’s an urgent need for further research and enhanced screening methods to combat this deadly disease.

Video synopsis is AI-generated and reviewed by AJMC editorial staff.

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