Cancer Research UKBowel cancer can arise in the small or large bowel which may also be called as the small or large intestine. Apparently, now-a-days, about 15 times more people undergo keyhole surgery for bowel cancer, than they did 10 years ago. This is claimed by a study which was presented at the NCRI Cancer Conference in Birmingham.

The study also demonstrated the technique by which patients may recuperate sooner while fewer may undergo grave complications soon after surgery. The amount of bowel cancer patients receiving keyhole surgery apparently increased from around 95 in 1998 to about 1,491 in 2006.

But the study also discovered that a few patients are missing out on these advantages because supposedly not everybody across England has access to this technique.

These figures could be available because of a ground-breaking new database which is apparently formed by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). It supposedly facilitates experts to supervise cancer care across the whole of the NHS for the first time.

Lead author Cancer Research UK’s Dr Eva Morris, who is based at the University of Leeds, commented, “Our results are encouraging. Just a decade after the technique was introduced, fifteen times more people with bowel cancer are now benefiting. Our figures came from hospital data, which is often incomplete, so we think the actual number of patients could be even higher. The NCIN’s new database has allowed us to take a snapshot of keyhole surgery across the UK.”

Dr Eva Morris, further added, “Overall, patients who had bowel cancer diagnosed at an earlier stage and fewer associated health problems were more likely to be treated with the technique. This partly explains why generally they did better after the operation. It’s essential with these new and exciting techniques that surgeons are trained quickly, and our figures show that the national training programme for this particular type of surgery has been successful so far. The technique is, however, relatively new so it’s important that its outcomes are monitored.”

Patients who received keyhole surgery apparently had less advanced disease and an improved prospect. They had about 30 percent less chances to die within a month and were apparently discharged 3 days earlier from hospital as compared to patients who were given conventional open operations.

Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s chief clinician, mentioned, “Cancer surgeons have been active in developing these new techniques and the results are very positive. We need to make sure that they are made available to all the patients who might benefit, and Cancer Research UK sees research in cancer surgery as a key priority.”

Professor David Forman, information lead for the NCIN and study co-author, remarked, “Two of the major recommendations in the government’s Cancer Reform Strategy were to improve treatment and to develop a world class cancer information system. This piece of work touches on both of these aims.”

David Forman believes that before now, national figures like this weren’t available, so they were unable to compare care across the NHS.

He is of the opinion that since the information is now available; they can drive improvements in cancer care and enhance patient choice.