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Authors Hedrick TL, Galloway RP, McElearney ST, Smith RL, Ledesma EJ, Wilson WH, Sawyer RG, Friel CM, Foley EF
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Journal Am Surg Volume: 72 Issue: 1 Pages: 89-95
Publish Date 2006 Jan
PubMed ID 16494194
Abstract

Multiple studies demonstrate the efficacy of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in patients over 50 years of age. However, there is a lack of consensus regarding which screening method to use, and compliance has been poor. The objective of this study was to identify the CRC screening practices at two institutions and determine the relationship between screening and pathologic stage for patients presenting with a colorectal neoplasm. This study, conducted at the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System and the Salem Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) between October 30, 2000, and September 1, 2004, included 198 patients > or = 50 years who presented for resection of a primary colorectal neoplasm. Pathologic stage and prior screening were identified retrospectively through chart review and patient response to an anonymous survey. Prior screening was demonstrated in 71 per cent of patients. Colonoscopy was the most commonly used modality. There was a higher percentage of CRC screening at VAMC compared with UVA (80% vs 62%, P < 0.0008). Patients at UVA were more likely screened with colonoscopy, whereas fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) was most common at VAMC (P < 0.0001). Prior CRC screening and cancer stage were inversely related. Ninety-one per cent of patients with benign polyps had been screened prior to diagnosis, compared with 72 per cent of patients with stage I and II cancer and 54 per cent of patients with stage III and IV cancer (P < 0.05). Of patients presenting for surgery, 71 per cent underwent CRC screening. Variability exists in the methods employed for CRC screening. CRC screening facilitates diagnosis at an early stage.

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