Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Colorectal Cancer Premalignant Lesions

  • Luca Roncucci
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_1269-2



Colorectal cancer premalignant lesions are focal lesions which precede cancer development. There are different entities: adenoma is the only one for which the available scientific evidence of its premalignant nature is more convincing.

Colorectal adenomas are polypoid, flat, or depressed lumps of epithelial origin, which can be found throughout the large bowel, whose main histological feature is dysplasia. They may be single or multiple, rarely hundreds or even thousands, as in patients with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). Adenomas, if left untreated, grow and finally may become malignant. However, only a fraction of colorectal adenomas acquire malignant features, and sometimes may also regress. Polypoid adenomas are the most frequent and can be sessile (with a large base) or pedunculated (with a stalk attached by a narrow base on the colorectal mucosal surface).

Other kinds of colorectal lesions may be premalignant;...


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Lynch Syndrome Colorectal Adenoma Crohn Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Fenoglio GM, Lane N (1974) The anatomical precursor of colorectal carcinoma. Cancer 34:819–823CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Morson BC, Bussey HJR, Day DW (1983) Adenomas of the large bowel. Cancer Surv 3:451–477Google Scholar
  3. Muto T, Bussey HJR, Morson BC (1975) The evolution of cancer of the colon and rectum. Cancer 36:2251–2270CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Pretlow TP, Barrow BJ, Ashton WS et al (1991) Aberrant crypts: putative preneoplastic foci in human colonic mucosa. Cancer Res 51:1564–1567PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Roncucci L, Medline A, Bruce WR (1991) Classification of aberrant crypt foci and microadenomas in human colon. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1:57–60PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Clinical Medicine, and Public HealthUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly