Mortality and follow-up colonoscopy after colorectal cancer.
OBJECTIVE: There have been no studies that demonstrate surveillance colonoscopy decreases mortality in patients with a history of colorectal cancer. The purpose of this study was to compare the mortality of patients with colorectal cancer who received at least one colonoscopy after their diagnosis with patients who had no further procedures after adjusting for age, race, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and comorbidity using the national Veterans Affairs (VA) databases. METHODS: We studied a cohort of 3546 patients within the VA national databases with a new diagnosis of colorectal cancer during fiscal year 1995-1996. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease, metastatic disease at presentation, or who died within 1 yr of initial diagnosis were excluded. We collected data for demographics, comorbidities, colonoscopies, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. The primary outcome was adjusted 5-yr mortality. RESULTS: In the adjusted analysis, the risk of death was decreased by 43% (hazard ratio = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.51-0.64) in the group who had at least one follow-up colonoscopy compared with patients who had no follow-up colonoscopies. CONCLUSIONS: This study strongly supports a mortality benefit for follow-up colonoscopy in patients with a history of nonmetastatic colorectal cancer.
Fisher, DA; Jeffreys, A; Grambow, SC; Provenzale, D
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