Bowel cancer survival rates higher with surgery

3 July 2013

Research involving more than 50,000 patients has confirmed for the first time that bowel cancer sufferers are more likely to survive if they undergo surgery.

The National Bowel Cancer Audit (NBCA) showed that eight out of ten patients who had major surgery in England and Wales between April 2008 and March 2010 survived two years or more after their diagnosis.

In contrast, patients who were either too frail or whose cancer was too advanced were far less likely to survive - just two out of five lived for two or more years after being diagnosed.

Further studies are now needed to find out why many people do not have surgery as part of their cancer treatment, the report authors say.

NBCA also found that post-operative survival is at an all-time high. More than 95 per cent of the 17,250 patients who had surgery over the same period were alive 90 days after they had the operation. This cut the overall mortality rate from 6.1 to 4.5 per cent, a drop of more than a quarter.

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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