Most sporadic colorectal cancers can develop over decades. Recent studies showed that the gut microbiome has possible diagnostic potential for health and disease. Researchers assessed fecal samples from patients who underwent colonoscopy to study the relationship between gut microbiota and colorectal cancer. They found specific markers that could discriminate cases of colorectal cancer from healthy samples. This posits that colorectal cancer is not only a genetic, but also a microbial disease.