, Volume 174, Issue 4, pp 10-16

Changes in outcome following surgery for colorectal cancer: one surgeon’s experience

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Colorectal cancer (CRC) has the second highest mortality rate of all cancers in Ireland. Developments in imaging, surgical technique, and perioperative care in the last two decades have altered management.


To determine whether outcome following surgery for CRC in the mid-west has changed over a 22-year period.


Four hundred and twenty-two patients were divided into two time periods: Group A (1980–1991, n = 203) and Group B (1992–2002, n = 219) and demographic, inpatient, and survival data were reviewed.


The mean age was 67 years, 59% were male. Group B patients had less advanced disease at presentation (Dukes’ stage D 14% vs 22%,p<0.05), fewer perioperative complications (13% vs 23%,p<0.05), and fewer local recurrences (6.8% vs n.8%,p<0.05) than Group A. No difference in 30-day mortality rate or survival was detected.


Although perioperative CRC management has improved, methods of earlier diagnosis and improvements in adjuvant therapy should be explored to improve survival.

Our friend and mentor Peter Delaney died in 2002