The inspiration for this book stemmed from the widely shared optimism of colorectal cancer specialists that after many decades of often painfully slow progress (despite much action), we are at the brink of a new era with several positive developments in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, bringing hope to the hundreds of thousands of people who develop the disease. It is crucial that this evidence-based sanguinity spreads to the entire multiprofessional colorectal cancer team, in particular to general practitioners who are by and large the first, the intermediate and the last point of contact for our patients. They have the complex task of firstly identifying suspected colorectal cancer and then working in partnership with the patient, carers and the specialists at all stages along the patient pathway.
This book is written for them – the primary care physician, the nurses, the junior doctors, the dieticians, the radiographers and countless other healthcare professionals, all caring for colorectal cancer patients. It isn’t just that the book walks us through contemporary knowledge in the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and modalities of treatment for colorectal cancer (and many other things besides) but it also acknowledges and debates the numerous uncertainties around the disease in a balanced manner, in addition to peering into future approaches towards screening, molecular biology, genetics and therapies. The book, in short, presents a concise story of the full spectrum of colorectal cancer in a kind of chronological order. All of us who care for colorectal cancer patients, should make it our duty to be acquainted with the detail in order to provide optimal patient care.