Colorectal cancers arise from dysplastic adenomatous polyps in the majority of cases. The early event is a mutation of APC (adenomatous polyposis gene), which was first discovered in individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). In addition to mutations, epigenetic events such as abnormal DNA methylation can also cause silencing of tumor suppressor genes or activation of oncogenes.
Disease statistics in Sweden: Annual Incidence Rates per 100,000 (Male)- 9.8. Annual Colorectal Cancer Deaths per 100,000 (Male)- 12.9 Annual Incidence Rates per 100,000 (Female) - 26 Annual Colorectal Cancer Deaths per 100,000 (Female)-10.6.
Drugs that target specific defects that allow cancer cells to grow are available to people with advanced colon cancer, including bevacizumab (Avastin), cetuximab (Erbitux), panitumumab (Vectibix) and regorafenib (Stivarga). Targeted drugs can be given along with chemotherapy or alone.