Emergency presentation and mortality from colorectal cancer in the elderly
Version of Record online: 7 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1986 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.
British Journal of Surgery
Volume 73, Issue 3, pages 214–216, March 1986
How to Cite
Waldron, R. P., Donovan, I. A., Drumm, J., Mottram, S. N. and Tedman, S. (1986), Emergency presentation and mortality from colorectal cancer in the elderly. Br J Surg, 73: 214–216. doi: 10.1002/bjs.1800730320
- Issue online: 7 DEC 2005
- Version of Record online: 7 DEC 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 SEP 1985
- Colorectal cancer;
- mode of presentation;
- pre-symptomatic diagnosis/screening
We have assessed the influence of age on the mode of presentation and perioperative mortality in 1033 patients with colorectal cancer. There were 522 patients (51 per cent) over 70 years (group I) and 511 patients (49 per cent) under 70 (group II). In group I, 301 patients (58 per cent) were admitted as emergencies compared with only 222 (43 per cent) in group II (P < 0.001). Perioperative mortality was especially high in the elderly emergencies, 38 per cent, compared with 18 per cent for elective operations. Of the patients presenting as emergencies in either age group 66 per cent had localized ‘potentially curable’ disease. The incidence of colorectal cancer is highest in the elderly. A larger number of these elderly patients present as emergencies and die from the consequences of complications of localized disease. Earlier diagnosis by pre-symptomatic screening is therefore especially desirable in these old patients.