<bold>The aim of the study </bold>was to answer the question whether there are differences in the progression of the disease and its morphology, dependent of the patient’s age, as well as show colorectal cancer differences between young and elderly patients.
<bold>Material and methods. </bold>During the period between 2009 and 2011, 747 patients with rectal carcinoma, and 478 with colon cancer underwent surgery at the Department of General and Colorectal Surgery. The study group comprised patients under the age of 40 years (56 patients) and >80 years (90 patients). The following were subject to analysis: gender, tumor location, percentage of radical and palliative procedures, clinical and histopathological staging, as well the differences in the morphology of the tumor. The χ2 test and Yates’ correction were used for statistical analysis. p<0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
<bold>Results</bold>. A higher incidence of rectal carcinoma was observed in younger patients (p=0.004). Amongst the younger patients 30.3% were diagnosed with stage III cancer, while 35.7% with stage IV. In case of elderly patients 30.6% were diagnosed with stage III cancer, while 30.7% with stage IV. In 53.3% of young patients, local lymph node metastases were observed, while in the elderly 41.8%. No statistically significant difference was observed, considering the total number of lymph nodes metastases. However, in case of stage N2, results were unfavorable for young patients 31.8% vs 17% in case of the elderly. Mucogenic adenocarcinoma incidence was similar in both groups. In case of patients< 40 years we observed a higher incidence of poorly differentiated tumors, as compared to the elderly patients (>80 years).
<bold>Conclusions. </bold>1. It is necessary to create appropriate prevention programs for young community, and improvement of public awareness in this age group. 2. Colorectal cancer (CRC) in young patients is often recognized in advanced stage. 3. A high percentage of unresectable tumors in group of elderly patients shows that CRC is still diagnosed too late in Poland.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.