There is always a certain rate of recurrence after radical treatment for cancer and to get on it an early detection of disease set back is crucial.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> Medical data of patients operated on for primarily detected colorectal cancer in years 1993-2002 was retrospectively reviewed. Usefulness of follow-up means such as physical examination, or CEA and endoscopic surveillance was analyzed. All mentioned above were applied to scheduled follow-up (in 3, 6 and 12 month intervals following an operation and annually after that by the year 5).
<bold>Results.</bold> Complete and reliable data was obtained from 340 out of 502 follow-up intended subjects (67.7%). Elevated CEA was the most frequent predictor of recurrence within non-symptomatic subjects meeting follow-up appointments (60%). The cancer set back diagnosed by means of either physical or endoscopic examinations was the case only in one out of five patients (20.75% and 18.87% respectively). Clinical onset of recurrence making patients meet an unscheduled appointment was found increasing relative risk of nothing-but-palliative option either for them with local set back, or meta-static spread. Relative risk of onset of meta-chronous colonic cancer was significantly higher in patients being affected by synchronous advanced adenoma at time of surgery compared to those with one-fold changes.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> CEA scheduled follow-up after treatment for colorectal cancer CRC seems adequate to provide a good outcome of treatment for recurrent tumors. CRC patients presenting with synchronous advanced adenomas at time of surgery are probably to be under more intensive endoscopic surveillance.
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”.