A new study has found that even after issuing proper guidelines, many colon cancer patients are not getting access to the correct treatment measures more specifically chemotherapy after surgery. It has been found that this treatment regimen boosts the chances of survival quite considerably.
It is estimated that about two-thirds of the patients survive for five years after the diagnosis of cancer if they are given chemotherapy in addition to surgery. The five-year survival rate is increased by 16 percent. The study has found that women and elderly often do not receive this treatment. This paper is published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. "It gives you quite a lot of edge," said study co-author Dr. J. Milburn Jessup of the National Cancer Institute and Georgetown University Medical Center. The guidelines issued by National Institutes of Health say that chemotherapy after surgery is mandatory in stage III colon cancer. Here the cancer has already spread to the abdomen and the surrounding lymph nodes.
The researchers arrived at this conclusion after analyzing the data of 86,000 patients at 560 U.S. hospitals. They also found that the percentage of patients who received surgery and chemotherapy increased from 39 percent in 1991 to 64 percent in 2002.