Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death and the third most common cancer in the world. Depending on the origin of the mutation, colorectal carcinomas are classified as sporadic or hereditary. Cancers derived from mutations appearing during life, affecting individual cells and their descendants, are called sporadic and account for almost 95% of the CRCs. Less than 5% of CRC cases result from constitutional mutations conferring a very high risk of developing cancer. Screening for hereditary-related cancers is offered to individuals at risk for hereditary CRC, who have either not undergone genetic evaluation or have uncertain genetic test results. In this review, we briefly summarize the main findings on the correlation between sporadic CRC and the gut microbiota, and we specifically focus on the few evidences about the role that gut microorganisms have on the development of CRC hereditary syndromes. The characterization of a gut microbiota associated with an increased risk of developing CRC could have a profound impact for prevention purposes. We also discuss the potential role of the gut microbiota as therapeutic treatment.
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