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Primary prevention of colorectal cancer: are we closer to reality?Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. An early detection of colorectal cancer determines therapeutic outcomes, while primary prevention remains a challenge. Our aim was to review the dietary, geographical and genetic factors in the causation and their possible role in the primary prevention of colorectal cancer. Data from experimental and clinical studies and population screening programmes were analysed to determine the factors responsible for causation of colorectal cancer. The role of dietary constituents, including the consumption of fat, red meat, fibre content, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle issues, including obesity, lack of exercise and geographical variations in cancer prevalence were reviewed. The role of genetic and lifestyle factors in causation of colorectal cancer is evident from the experimental, clinical and population-based studies. Dietary factors, including the consumption of fat, fibre, red meat and alcohol, seem to have a significant influence in this regard. The role of micronutrients, vitamins, calcium may be relevant but remain largely unclear. In conclusion, there is ample evidence favouring the role of various dietary and lifestyle factors in the aetiology of colorectal cancer. Modification of these factors is an attractive option, which is likely to help in the primary prevention and reduced disease burden.