Colorectal Cancer in the Arab World - Screening Practices and Future Prospects


Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates have dropped 30% in the US in the last 10 years among adults ages 50 and older due to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy, yet incidences in the Arab countries have been increasing in the past ten years, albeit with lower figures when compared with developed countries. Lifestyle changes, food consumption patterns and obesity have been observed during the past years where the regular consumption of traditional foods is being replaced with more Western-style and ready-made foods. Most high income countries have implemented population based colorectal cancer screening programs, which aid in decreasing the incidence and mortality of cancer, while these are lacking in most of the Arab world countries due to many cultural and religious barriers to CRC screening as well as lack of high education or familiarity. What is needed is health education to modify risky lifestyle, and to increase motives and enhance positive attitudes towards early screening especially amongst high risk groups in addition to policy designed to encourage healthierliving.