Results from an American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons survey on the management of young-onset colorectal cancer
Young patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) present a diagnostic and clinical challenge. The aim of our study was to survey the approaches to preoperative evaluation and clinical management of young patients with CRC by colorectal surgeons in North America.
A standard electronic survey was sent to the members of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. The survey polled management decisions in various clinical scenarios for CRC patients less than 50 years old. Survey responses were collated and analyzed.
One hundred ninety surgeons responded and 140 completed the entire survey (response rate 10 %). Eighty percent of surgeons would offer preoperative genetic testing if the patient’s family met the Amsterdam criteria compared to only 67 % if the criteria were not met. Of those offering preoperative tumor testing, 48 % test microsatellite instability, 19 % mismatch repair protein expression by immunohistochemistry, and 24 % offer both. Decisions regarding the extent of the resection for cancer were dependent on family history: Most members (86 %) would perform a segmental colectomy for CRC in a patient without family history. Eighty-four percent of respondents would offer a total abdominal colectomy if preoperative tests indicated Lynch syndrome. When questioned about MYH-associated polyposis, only 27 % recognized the appropriate diagnosis.
Among the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, family history influences preoperative testing and surgical management decisions. A significant portion of surgeons do not offer preoperative genetic testing, despite implications on operative management, postoperative surveillance, and screening of family members.