How surgical delays affect colorectal, pancreatic & gastric cancer patients: 4 study findings

A study published by researchers at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center examined how patients with colorectal, pancreatic or gastric cancer could be affected by delayed surgical care.

The study was published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery. Researchers studied the results of peer-reviewed studies conducted between 2005 and 2020 to find how surgical delays affected patients with gastrointestinal cancers.

Four takeaways:

1. Forty-three studies related to colorectal cancer indicated a link between surgical delays of 30 to 40 days and shorter survival times for colon cancer patients.

2. Seven- to eight-week delays after chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy were linked to shorter survival times in patients with rectal cancer.

3. Two of nine studies on pancreatic cancer patients found that those whose surgeries were delayed for more than 30 days had increased cancer progression.

4. In six studies on gastric cancer, there was no link between time to surgery and patient survival.

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