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Colorectal Cancer Incidence: Does Iran Follow the West?

1 Colorectal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran
*Corresponding author: Mohammad Mohammadianpanah, Colorectal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Tel: +98-7136125170, Fax: +98-7136474320, E-mail:
Annals of Colorectal Research. 2015 March; 3(1): e28045 , DOI: 10.5812/acr.28045
Article Type: Editorial; Received: Jan 1, 2015; Accepted: Feb 20, 2015; epub: Mar 23, 2015; ppub: Mar 31, 2015

Keywords: Colorectal Cancer; Incidence; Iran

Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent and leading causes of cancer death worldwide. These neoplasms are the third most common cancer in men and the second in women worldwide (1). In Iran, colorectal cancer is the fifth common cancer in men and the third in women (2). The highest incidence rates are found in Eastern European and Asian countries and the lowest incidence rates are reported from the Africa, Central and South America and South Central Asia. Several reports found a stabilized or even decreased incidence rate of colorectal cancer in historically high-risk developed countries such as the USA and Canada and a steep increasing in low-risk countries (1). There is a paucity global report of colorectal cancer incidence and trend in Iran. Most local and regional reports have been influenced by the weakness of pathology-based cancer registry (3). In an effort to find a global colorectal cancer incidence and trend in Iran, Rezaianzadeh et al. performed a systematic review. They found a low incidence rate, but a slightly increasing trend in recent years for colorectal cancer in Iran (4). These results are compatible with most reports from developing counties (5).

More accurate diagnosis of colorectal cancer, increasing median age of Iranian population and changing lifestyle habits and diet quality are the most likely contributing factors for increasing of colorectal cancer incidence in Iran (5). Western lifestyle including overweight and obesity, low physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption and high energy and low fiber diets have been linked to colorectal cancer in developed countries. Recent studies indicate such a trend to western lifestyle in Iranian population (6).

Therefore, considering screening programs to early detection, public health strategies should be planned to promote healthy lifestyle including non-smoking, adequate healthy diet, high physical activity and maintenance of normal body weight to reduce the incidence rate, morbidity and mortality of colorectal cancer in Iran (6).


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