Survivorship care for early-stage colorectal cancer: A national survey of general surgeons and colorectal surgeons

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Aim: Few data are available on the optimal long-term care of early-stage colorectal cancer survivors, termed survivorship care. We aimed to investigate current practice in the management of patients following treatment for early-stage colorectal cancer. Method: We performed an internet survey of members of the American Society for Colon and Rectal Surgeons about several aspects of long-term care, including allocation of clinician responsibility, challenges with transitions to primary care physicians (PCPs), long-term care plan provision and recommended surgical follow-up duration. Results: Overall, 251 surgeons responded. Surgeons reported taking primary responsibility for managing adverse surgical effects (93.2%) and surveillance testing (imaging and laboratories 68.6%, endoscopy 82.4%). Barriers to PCP handoffs included patient preference for surgical follow-up (endorsed by 76.6%) and inadequate communication with PCPs (endorsed by 36.9%). Approximately one-third of surgeons routinely provide survivorship care plans to PCPs; surgeons who received formal survivorship training were more likely to do so compared to those without such training (OR 3.29, 95% CI 1.57, 6.92). Although only 20.4% of surgeons follow their patients beyond 5 years, individuals in practice longer were more likely to continue long-term follow-up than those with ≤ 10 years of experience. Conclusions: This is the largest survey of surgeons regarding long-term management for early-stage colorectal cancer and highlights the potential for improved coordination with PCPs and increased implementation of survivorship care plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalColorectal Disease
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Cancer survivorship
  • Colorectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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