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A Population-based Analysis
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2008
Copyright © 2008 American Cancer Society
Volume 113, Issue 8, pages 2029–2037, 15 October 2008
How to Cite
Cooper, G. S., Kou, T. D. and Reynolds, H. L. (2008), Receipt of guideline-recommended follow-up in older colorectal cancer survivors. Cancer, 113: 2029–2037. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23823
This study used the linked SEER-Medicare database. The interpretation and reporting of these data are the sole responsibility of the authors. The authors acknowledge the contributions of the Applied Research Program, National Cancer Institute; the Office of Research, Development and Information, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Information Management Services, Inc.; and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program tumor registries in the creation of the SEER-Medicare database.
Presented in part at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Orlando, Florida, January 26, 2008.
- Issue published online: 3 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 28 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 6 MAY 2008
- Manuscript Received: 13 FEB 2008
- American Cancer Society. Grant Number: RSGT-01-072-03-CPHPC
- colorectal neoplasms;
- carcinoembryonic antigen;
- practice guidelines;
After curative resection for colorectal cancer, routine follow-up with office visits, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and colonoscopy is recommended. The actual adherence to these guidelines as well as the potential overuse of testing in routine practice has not been well studied.
The authors identified 9426 eligible patients aged ≥66 years in a linked tumor registry-claims database who were diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum from 2000 to 2001. Patients were observed to 3 years after diagnosis. Receipt of ≥2 office visits per year, ≥2 CEA tests per year (years 1 and 2), and ≥1 colonoscopy within 3 years constituted guideline fulfillment.
Guidelines for office visits, colonoscopy, and CEA testing were met in 92.3%, 73.6%, and 46.7% of patients, respectively. In addition, receipt of 2 nonrecommended procedures, abdominal/pelvic computed tomography scans and positron emission tomography scans, was documented in 47.7% and 6.8%, respectively. Overall, 60.2% received testing below recommended levels, 17.1% at recommended frequency, and 22.7% above guideline recommendations. In a multivariate analysis, factors associated with meeting guidelines included younger age group, white race, regional stage cancers, and poorly differentiated tumors. Considerable geographic variation in meeting guidelines was also observed.
Many older colorectal cancer survivors in this population-based cohort underwent testing below a minimum frequency specified by clinical practice guidelines, especially with regard to CEA. Further studies should ascertain the reasons for poor compliance and the effect on patient outcome. Cancer 2008. © 2008 American Cancer Society.