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.