Performing Surgery Statistics assert that 142,570 Americans would have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer in this past year. It now seems that complications have long-term impact on quality of colorectal cancer care. A latest study undertaken by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, claims that patients with complications after colorectal cancer surgery are less likely to receive chemotherapy. In fact, patients with complications are more than twice capable of facing a delay in chemotherapy for more than 120 days after diagnosis or two months after surgery.

During the study, data accumulated from 17,108 patients subjected to surgery for stage III colorectal cancer was thoroughly assessed. Generally, chemotherapy may be recommended for all stage III colorectal cancer patients and enhances survival by 16 percent after five years. It is known that chemotherapy stresses the body and slows healing. Therefore, medical oncologists are reluctant to give chemotherapy for patients who are either frail or unwell because of complications from surgery. Even some patients may opt out of chemotherapy after undergoing surgical complications.

Surgical complications allegedly encompass pneumonia, urinary tract infections, heart attack, wound infections, and need for additional surgery or abscess drainage. However, some of these complications can be possibly avoided. Authors assume that surgical complications are linked with downstream cancer care and complications that occur during surgery. Samantha Hendren, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School and lead study author and colleagues claim that understanding the correlation between surgical complications and chemotherapy delay is extremely crucial in the health zone.

The study is published in the December issue of the journal Diseases of the Colon and Rectum.