, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 24-29,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 13 Jan 2010

Secondary Prevention of Colorectal Cancer: Is There an Optimal Follow-up for Patients with Colorectal Cancer?

Abstract

Secondary prevention of colorectal cancer, as opposed to primary prevention, indicates that a person has already had the disease and there are steps being taken to prevent cancer recurrence, usually as metachronous tumors. This generally involves annual surveillance with colonoscopy after surgical removal of the initial cancer if some aspect of the colon remains. However, some familial cases may involve other modalities, such as cyclooxygenase inhibitors, as an adjunct after the initial operation. Genetic testing in suspected familial cases may identify candidates for secondary prevention. The timing for secondary prevention is critical to prevent recurrent advanced disease, which is detrimental to patient survival. Recommendations are often empiric, but some cases are based on the biological behavior of the tumor. Close follow-up with a competent health care provider, such as a gastroenterologist, is necessary to help prevent recurrence.