+AA
Fr
McMasterLogo_New-2017-300x165
Back
Evidence Summary

What is an Evidence Summary?

Key messages from scientific research that's ready to be acted on

Got It, Hide this
  • Rating:

In people who had resection for colon cancer, intensive monitoring does not increase survival

Mokhles S, Macbeth F, Farewell V, et al. Meta-analysis of colorectal cancer follow-up after potentially curative resection. Br J Surg. 2016;103:1259-68.

Review question

In people who have potentially curative resection (removal of part of the colon) for colon cancer, does intensive monitoring increase survival?

Background

Some people who have colon cancer have the diseased part of the colon removed in hopes of curing the cancer. However, sometimes the cancer comes back, so people are occasionally checked for signs and symptoms. It seems logical that checking more frequently or with new methods might allow earlier detection and therefore more effective treatment of recurrence.

How the review was done

The researchers did a systematic review, searching for studies available until 2016.

They found 16 randomized controlled trials with 9,993 people. 7 of these trials (3,325 people) provided survival data and were at low risk for bias, and were included in the assessment of survival.

People in the trials had colon cancer that had been treated with resection.

Intensive follow-up assessments included blood tests, endoscopy or colonoscopy, or pictures (computerized tomography scan, liver ultrasound, or chest x-ray). Follow-up could be led by a surgeon or a general practitioner; and follow-up assessments could occur more frequently than normal.

Intensive follow-up was compared with the usual tests and frequencies of follow-up.

What the researchers found

Cancer recurrence was detected about 10 months sooner in patients who had intensive follow-up compared with patients who had usual follow-up.

However, patients did not survive any longer when they had:

  • any more intensive follow-up compared with any less intensive follow-up;
  • endoscopy added to their usual follow-up; or
  • follow-up in a hospital or specialist setting compared with in a general practice setting.

Conclusion

In people who had potentially curative resection for colon cancer, intensive monitoring does not increase survival.

Effect of intensive follow-up vs usual follow-up on survival in patients who had resection for colon cancer

Comparisons

Number of trials (people)

Findings

All intensive follow-up vs usual follow-up

7 (3,325)

No difference in survival

Usual follow-up plus endoscopy vs usual follow-up

2 (913)

No difference in survival

Hospital/specialist vs general practice

2 (267)

No difference in survival

 



Related Topics


Glossary

Randomized controlled trials
Studies where people are assigned to one of the treatments purely by chance.
Systematic review
A comprehensive evaluation of the available research evidence on a particular topic.

Related Web Resources

  • Breast cancer: Risks and benefits, age 50-69

    Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
    Your risk of dying from breast cancer is slightly reduced if you have regular screening. However, regular screening increases your chance of a false positive result, a biopsy and having part or all of a breast removed unnecessarily.
  • Breast cancer: Patient algorithm

    Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
    The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends women between 50 and 74 years old who are not at high risk get screened for breast cancer every 2 to 3 years. Talk to your doctor about screening options if you are at high risk or over 74 years old.
  • Breast cancer: Patient FAQ

    Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
    This resource includes frequently asked questions about breast cancer, including: Who is considered high risk? What are the harms associated with mammography? and Why is routine screening NOT recommended for women 40-49 years?
DISCLAIMER These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Register for free access to all Professional content

Register
Want the latest in aging research? Sign up for our email alerts.
Subscribe

Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

© 2012 - 2020 McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L8 | +1 905-525-9140 | Terms Of Use