Long-term oncological outcomes following emergency resection of colon cancer
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The relationship between emergency colon cancer resection and long-term oncological outcomes is not well understood. Our objective was to characterize the impact of emergency resection for colon cancer on disease-free and overall patient survival.
Data on patients undergoing resection for colon cancer from 2006 to 2015 were collected from a prospectively maintained clinical and administrative database. The median follow-up time was 4.4 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate the hazard ratios for recurrence and death for patients treated with surgery for an emergent presentation. Differences in initiation of, and timeliness of, adjuvant chemotherapy between emergently and electively treated patients were also examined.
Of the 1180 patients who underwent resection for stages I, II, or III colon cancer, 158 (13%) had emergent surgery. After adjustment for patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics, the HR for recurrence was 1.64 (95% CI 1.12–2.40) and for death was 1.47 (95% CI 1.10–1.97). After adjustment for tumor characteristics, patients who underwent emergency resection were similarly likely to receive adjuvant chemotherapy (OR 1.1; 95% CI 0.70–1.76). The time from surgery to initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy was also similar between the groups.
Emergency surgery for localized or regional colon cancer is associated with a greater risk of recurrence and death. This association does not appear to be due to differences in adjuvant treatment. A focus on screening and colon cancer awareness in order to reduce emergency presentations is warranted.
KeywordsColon cancer Emergency surgery Recurrence Survival
Compliance with ethical standards
The database was designed for administrative and research purposes with approval of the Western University Research Ethics Board (REB), and this specific study was also approved.
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