Colorectal cancer in Portugal

  • Carlos Gouveia Pinto
  • Ana Teresa Paquete
  • Irene Pissarra
Original Paper


Increasing diagnosis and deaths caused by colorectal cancer (CRC) warrant closer examination of affected patients and focus on management of CRC in Portugal. In order to assess the extent and quality of the information available in Portugal, we first analyse Portuguese cancer registries and then the management of CRC by discussing the diagnostic process and medical care provided, especially pharmaceuticals. Other cancer indications are mentioned in order to illustrate current approaches of cancer in Portugal. Current national data on cancer patients are scarce and there are divergencies in methods of data collection and treatment amongst regional cancer registries. However, the available data is sufficient enough to understand the dimension of CRC, with age-standardised incidence of 37 per 100,000 and mortality of 31 per 100,000 annually. An ongoing project is restructuring health services to improve efficiency and quality, however, some problems exist. The regional inequity of access to health care facilities and long waiting times for diagnostic examinations and surgery are major examples. Despite the non-availability of clinical guidelines, a pilot screening programme started at the beginning of 2009 in the Centre Region of the country. It is hoped that this overview will provide the basis for discussion on improvements in CRC management in Portugal and lead to better outcomes.


Colorectal cancer Portugal Cancer registries Access Screening 

JEL Classification

I11 I12 I18 


Conflict of interest statement

The authors do not report any conflict of interest associated with this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Gouveia Pinto
    • 1
  • Ana Teresa Paquete
    • 2
  • Irene Pissarra
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto Superior de Economia e GestãoLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Research Centre on the Portuguese Economy (CISEP)LisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto de Medicina PreventivaLisbonPortugal

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