Background: Because more than 90% of local recurrences after curative surgery for rectal cancer appear within the first 36 months after surgery, an intensive and strict follow-up program during this period could improve early diagnosis and, thus, prognosis of patients. Methods: Of the 216 patients who underwent surgery for rectal cancer, 127 entered an intensive follow-up program (median follow-up: 42 months); the clinical outcome of the remaining 89 patients was reconstructed with the help of their general practitioners. Results: Fifty eight (26.8%) of the 216 patients who were treated with curative surgery alone developed a local recurrence; pelvic recurrences were prevalent. Eleven (30.5%) of the 36 patients who had recurrence during follow-up, and 6 of the 22 who had not undergone follow-up, had a reoperation with curative intent; the median survival was 19 months vs. 8 months, respectively (P = ns). Four (44.4%) curative reoperations were performed on the 9 asymptomatic patients and in 13 (26.5%) of the 49 cases with symptomatic local recurrences. Median survival was 15 months vs. 14 months, respectively (P = n.s). All patients except one (living after 42 months from reoperation) died within 48 months. Conclusions: In our study, adherence to a strict follow-up program unfortunately proved to be ineffective for improving long-term survival for patients who underwent reoperation with curative intent.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Annals of Surgical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2000|
- Intensive follow-up
- Local recurrence
- Rectal cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas