Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is still not fully established in the European Union. Recently, the United European Gastroenterology Federation (UEGF) supported CRC screening with the publication of quality guidelines and a written declaration in the European Parliament in favor of European-wide monitored CRC screening and primary prevention of CRC, the latter particularly in young citizens. In this article, the need for population-based CRC screening is once again stressed. In addition, the value of opportunistic CRC screening is pointed out, either as a regional or nation-wide alternative (such as in the USA and Germany) or as a ‘forerunner’ activity in view of subsequent population-based CRC screening. With regard to other parallel organ-related screening activities in Europe (breast, uterus) and the increasing need for primary prevention of malignant and benign diseases, the question is raised as to whether preventive activities should not be recognized as an integrated and logical part of a ‘healthcare chain’ offered to all European citizens.
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