Neoplastic Diseases of the Colon and Rectum
Colorectal cancer is primarily a disease of the elderly. The incidence of both colorectal carcinoma and its precursor lesions increase progressively with age. Although there is no evidence that the biologic aggressiveness of colorectal cancer increases with age, delays in diagnosis contribute to the presence of relatively advanced disease at presentation, and therefore a poorer prognosis, in the elderly. These delays in diagnosis also result in the development of complications of colorectal cancer, requiring emergent surgery. Recently reported series document excellent results for elderly patients undergoing elective operations for colorectal cancer. In contrast, the elderly, who are more likely to have co-morbid conditions, fare poorly with emergent procedures. It is ironic that the elderly population, which has the most to gain from early detection of colorectal neoplasms, is the least likely to undergo appropriate screening and diagnostic evaluation.
KeywordsColorectal Cancer Rectal Cancer Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Total Mesorectal Excision Lynch Syndrome
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