The interval between follow-up colonoscopies may be increased
from 1 to 3 years for colorectal cancer patients whose examinations
are negative after 2 years, concludes a study of 389 patients
at the Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Louisianna, reported in
Diseases of the Colon & Rectum (DC&R).
"We believe this recommendation outlines appropriate and
cost-effective colon surveillance guidelines for colorectal cancer
patients and will help decrease the total number of normal surveillance
examinations," write Ochnser's Douglas A. Khoury, MD, Frank
G. Opelka, MD, David E. Beck, MD, Terry C. Hicks, MD, Alan E.
Timmcke, MD, and J. Byron Gathright, Jr., MD.
Current guidelines of the American Society of Colon and Rectal
Surgeons (ASCRS) recommend annual colonoscopies for up to 5 years
after a patient has surgery for colorectal cancer.
Reoperation Plus Surgery for Local Recurrence of Recal Carcinoma
Another study reported in the March issue of DC&R offers increased
hope for patients who experience a local recurrence of cancer
after surgery for rectal cancer. "In selected patients with
local recurrence of rectal carcinoma, reoperation with irradiation
may result in good palliation and possibly cure," report
TheoWiggers, MD, PhD, Mark R. de Vries, MD, and Bernadette Veeze-Kuypers,
MD, of the Departments of Surgical Oncology and Radiotherapy at
Dr. Daniël den Hoed Cancer Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Surgery is the most effective treatment for colorectal cancer.
Even when all visible cancer has been removed, it is possible
for cancer cells to be present in other areas of the body. The
chance of recurrence depends on the characteristics of the original
cancer and the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation, if
needed, or other follow-up treatment. Patients with recurrent
cancers--if diagnosed early--may benefit, or be cured, by further
surgery or other treatment.