No studies have demonstrated whether surveillance colonoscopy decreases mortality in patients who have a history of colorectal cancer.
In this study, researchers from Durham, North Carolina, assessed the mortality of patients with colorectal cancer, who received at least 1 colonoscopy after their diagnosis. They compare these patients with those who had no further procedures.
The researchers adjusted the data for age, race, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and comorbidity using the national Veterans Affairs (VA) databases.
The team evaluated a cohort of 3546 patients, within the VA national databases, with a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer during fiscal year 1995 to 1996.
They excluded any patients with inflammatory bowel disease, metastatic disease at presentation, or who died within 1 year of initial diagnosis.
|Adjusted risk of death was decreased by 43% in the follow-up colonoscopy group.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The primary outcome measure was adjusted 5-year mortality.
The researchers found that the adjusted risk of death was decreased by 43% in the group who had at least 1 follow-up colonoscopy, compared with patients who had no follow-up colonoscopies.
Dr Deborah Fisher's team concluded, "This study strongly supports a mortality benefit for follow-up colonoscopy in patients with a history of nonmetastatic colorectal cancer".