OUTCOMES FOR COLON CANCER

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5-Year Survival Rate for Colon Cancer Patients (updated Nov 2012)

DeKalb Surgical Associates has implemented a method of continuous outcomes assessment for a variety of clinical indicators. One of these indicators looks at the long-term survival of patients with colon cancer. For patients at DeKalb Surgical Associates (DSA), the overall 5 year observed survival rate is over 60%, which reflects a slight improvement since looking at this same data last year. For a more homogeneous comparison, the data is shown by individual stages. Our results are equivalent to national data.

The data shown is from patients who were first diagnosed in years 2003-05, allowing us to have followed these patients for at least 5 years. This is the most recent time frame for which national data is available for national comparison. Older outcomes comparison data is shown below in green font, for reference.

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In the past, all patients undergoing surgery for removal of a colon cancer had to go through a bowel cleansing, just like what is don for a colonoscopy. But more recent studies have shown that this is often unnecessary. Most patients can be discharged from the hospital within about five days, and sometimes even less. Patients usually are allowed liquids even in the evening following surgery. Laparoscopic techniques are often utilized, depending on the location and size of the cancer. This approach is less invasive, typically resulting in less pain, and a quicker recovery.

Very few colon cancer patients require a colostomy with current surgical techniques. Low rectal lesions (close to the anus) can be removed through the anus if localized, and cancers higher up can usually be removed through an abdominal incision, re-connecting the colon down very low, close to the anus. In some cases of rectal cancer, a temporary ostomy may be necessary as a precaution against potential post-operative complications.

The American Cancer Society has set a goal of reducing the incidence of colon cancer by 50% by the year 2015. In order to reach this goal, the routine use of colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy screening must be fully implemented. Current recommendations are for screening colonoscopy in all patients beginning at age 50, and every 10 years thereafter. For African American patients and in patients with a family history of colon cancer, screening should begin at age 45.

Our web site provides more information about colon polyps and cancer under the colon disorders tab under Patient Information.

5-Year Survival Rate for Colon Cancer Patients (updated Feb 2012)

Survival for patients with colon cancer is another important indicator which we monitor. For patients at DeKalb Surgical Associates (DSA), the overall 5 year observed survival rate is over 57%. There has been no real change in survival rates for colon cancer over the past several years, neither for our own practice or with nationally reported data.

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Here is a similar comparison of our data with national data broken down by Stage 2 and 3.This shows results basically equivalent to what is reported nationally.

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Here is some older data for comparison. This is data from patients who were first diagnosed in 1986-94.

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