Introduction: Epidemiological characteristics of colorectal cancer indicate that in the U.S. colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from malignancy, just behind lung cancer. In the 2000 there were approximately 130,200 new cases, of which 56,300 had lethal outcome. In the past 15 years, the incidence and mortality rate has been declining, especially in women. Colorectal cancer is mainly found in people older than 50 years. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is insufficiently specific for the early detection of the disease. Its normal value is less than 5 g/L in the serum. Elevated levels of CEA after surgery indicate a lack of radical surgery, residual neoplasm, hidden distant metastases or recurrent disease. Unfortunately, only 10-15% of patients with recurrent disease can be successfully re-operated (isolated metastases in the liver or lungs). Colorectal cancer is predominantly adenocarcinoma, the tumor has relatively slow growth. While symptoms occur relatively early, distant metastases have relatively late appearance. Goals: The goals of this study were to remind the fundamental facts about the nature of this disease, to stress the importance of early detection of BC-screening programs, to draw attention to contemporary attitudes in the field of diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer, and to show the experience in the treatment of this disease at the Surgical Departments of the General Hospital in Konjic. Results: In the period from 2008-2012 years, at the Surgical Department of the General Hospital in Konjic surgically treated are 34 patients who had colorectal malignancy. There were 21 (65 %) male and 13 females (35%). All patients belonged to the age group of 50-75 years. Only five patients or 15 % prior to admission to the hospital had been diagnosed with a malignant process. All others, or 85% of the total sample, were admitted to the hospital as emergency cases (erosive gastritis), and after, shorter preparation underwent surgery. Only five (15%) of patients were admitted electively, already diagnosed with colorectal tumors by colonoscopy. Total number of lethal outcomes at the department was 8 (24%). Three patients died due to cardio-respiratory failure and MOF, and 5 patients due to anastomotic failure and septic shock. Conclusion: In conclusion we can say that in our institution it is necessary to obtain the proper equipment (colonoscope) and educate personnel, so we can introduce colonoscopy as the mandatory screening method of examination, particularly for vulnerable groups.
Key words: Colorectal cancer, colonoscopy, surgical treatment, outcome.