This guideline covers diagnosing and managing colorectal (bowel) cancer in people aged 18 and over. It aims to improve quality of life and survival for adults with colorectal cancer through early diagnosis and staging, management of local disease according to risk of recurrence (high, moderate, low) and management of secondary tumours (metastatic disease).

In November 2017, the reference to NICE technology appraisal 176 in section 1.3.4 was replaced with a reference to Cetuximab and panitumumab for previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer (NICE technology appraisal 439).

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • Adults with colorectal cancer, their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

We reviewed the evidence in February 2016 and we are extending the scope of the guideline to cover areas of the NICE guideline on improving outcomes in colorectal cancer that have not been superseded by other NICE guidance. 

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)