Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and its incidence is increasing. However, survival rates are also increasing. In Scotland, age-standardised, five year survivorship rates have increased from 42.9% in 1987-91 to 64.7% in 2007-11. More people surviving after a bowel cancer diagnosis is fantastic news, but there is considerable room for improvement in both quantity and quality of years; multi-modal treatment pathways, risk of complications and the possibility of a stoma can cause prolonged physical and psychological recovery.
A recent paper1 in the British Medical Journal on Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cancer, reminds us of the significant relationship between colorectal cancer and metabolic abnormalities. Indeed, an accompanying editorial by Satija et al2 concludes that “because of the rising incidences of both diseases worldwide action is needed for both clinical and public health communities to follow appropriate cancer screening guidelines among people with diabetes with a greater emphasis on lifestyle modifications”. But no one says it is important that diabetes screening guidelines should be a followed among people with raised risk for colorectal cancer.