Colorectal Cancer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Need for Screening

  • Mosli, Mahmoud H. (Western University) ;
  • Al-Ahwal, Mahmoud S. (Scientific Chair for Colorectal Cancer, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University)
  • Published : 2012.08.31


Background and Objectives: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a major health problem in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Our aim was to characterize the epidemiology of CRC in the Saudi population. Design and Setting: Retrospective analysis of all cases of CRC recorded in the Saudi Cancer Registry (SCR) between January 2001 and December 2006 amongst Saudi citizens in KSA. Patients and Methods: Data were retrieved from the database of the SCR. Descriptive statistics was performed using SPSS. Results: A total of 4,201 cases of CRC were registered in the SCR. The incidence of CRC increased between 2001 and 2006. The mean age of patients at the time of diagnosis was 58 years; most patients were above 45 years of age (n=3322; 79.1%). At the time of diagnosis, 977 patients (23.0%) presented with localized disease and 1,018 (24.0%) had distant metastasis. The most frequent pathological variant was adenocarcinoma (73%), with grade 2 (moderately differentiated) being the most common grade among all variants (61%). For all cancer grades, the frequency of CRC was significantly higher among patients >45 years (P=0.004), who presented with more advanced disease (stages III and IV) (P=0.012). Based on logistic regression, age >45 years was associated with advanced regional presentation (P=0.001). Tumor grade was associated with advanced regional presentation and metastasis. Conclusions: There was an increase in the incidence of CRC between 2001 and 2006. The age at the time of diagnosis was low when compared with reports from developed countries. A nationwide approach is needed to encourage and illustrate the importance of screening programs.


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