Review decision: February 2016

We checked this guideline and decided that it should be updated. For details, see the update decision, decision matrix and the process for deciding if an update is needed. Details of the update will be available on the guidelines in development webpage in due course. No further checks of this guideline will be scheduled until this update is published.

This clinical guideline updates and replaces NICE technology appraisal 93 (published in August 2005). It offers evidence-based advice on the diagnosis and management of colorectal cancer.

This guideline was previously called colorectal cancer: the diagnosis and management of colorectal cacner.

In colorectal cancer, cells in the colon or in the rectum start to grow in an uncontrolled way, forming a lump called the primary cancer or primary tumour. Like other cancers, colorectal cancer starts in a small area but can spread to other parts of the body to form metastatic tumours.

The term colorectal cancer covers cancers in both the colon (colon cancer) and the rectum (rectal cancer).

December 2014

Recommendations on surgery and colonic stents in acute large bowel obstruction and on stage I rectal cancer in sections 1.2.2 and 1.2.4 have been added. The addendum to NICE guideline CG131 contains details of the methods and evidence used to update these recommendations.

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 are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users 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 compliance with those duties.

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