Aim To estimate the burden of colorectal cancer (CRC) in South East Asia.
Methods We reviewed the evidence from the published literature found through a systematic review in Medline, Embase, and Global Health and from unpublished data on cancer registries, which were sourced from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Incidence rates were summarized by calculating descriptive statistics and meta-analysis estimates.
Results The crude mean incidence of CRC in South East Asia for both sexes was 6.95/100 000 population and the incidence increased with age. The crude meta-analysis estimate was 6.12/100 000 population (95% confidence interval 5.64-6.60/100 000) and the number of new CRC cases for 2000 was 32 058 (29 544-34 573).
Conclusion The rates of CRC in South East Asia were much lower than those reported for high-income countries, but higher than those reported for Sub Saharan Africa.