Colorectal Cancer in India: An Audit from a Tertiary Center in a Low Prevalence Area
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Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common cancer worldwide with a low reported incidence in India. There is significant geographical variation in the incidence rates, and the presentation may also vary. There are few studies evaluating the clinical profile of CRC in Indian patients. We analyzed a prospective database maintained at the Tata Memorial Hospital, a referral cancer center in Mumbai, of consecutive patients with CRC between August 2013 and August 2014. We captured details regarding the demography, symptoms, pathology, stage, and treatment plan. The aim was to assess the demographic and clinical details of patients with CRC in India and compare it with those of the reported literature. Eight hundred new patients with CRC were seen in the colorectal clinic in one year. The mean age was 47.2 years. Sixty-five percent were males. Patients were symptomatic for an average period of 4 months prior to presentation. The commonest symptoms were rectal bleeding (57%), pain (44%), and altered bowel habits (26%). Thirteen percent of the patients had signet ring tumors. The median CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) level was 5.8 ng/mL. Most patients had localized or locally advanced disease. Twenty-eight percent of the patients had metastatic disease with liver being the commonest site of metastases (14%) followed by peritoneum and lung. More than half of the patients received treatment with a curative intent. Colorectal cancer in India differs from that described in the Western countries. We had more young patients, higher proportion of signet ring carcinomas, and more patients presenting with an advanced stage. Inadequate access to healthcare and socioeconomic factors may play a role in some of these differences.
KeywordsColorectal cancer Demography India
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Conflict of Interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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