Preventive Care, Surveillance High Among CRC Survivors

Survivors from clinical trials have higher preventive care, screening rates than general population

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors who participate in clinical trials have better routine preventive health care and cancer screening than the general population, and also have high rates of compliance with cancer surveillance, according to research published online Nov. 15 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Hiroko Kunitake, M.D., of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study to examine both routine preventive care and cancer surveillance in 708 long-term (five years or more) CRC survivors who had previously been enrolled in National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) adjuvant trials. Matched controls from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were enrolled at a ratio of 3:1.

The researchers found that NSABP patients were significantly more likely to have received recommended health interventions, including having a usual source of health care (97.7 versus 93.8 percent); getting a flu shot in the past 12 months (67.5 versus 44.3 percent); and having a Pap smear (67.3 versus 54.8 percent), mammogram (80.4 versus 70.7 percent), and prostate-specific antigen test (84.5 versus 74.5 percent) than patients in the NHIS cohort. For CRC surveillance, the NSABP cohort also showed high adherence to recommendations for colonoscopy, carcinoembryonic antigen test, and computed tomography scans.

"In conclusion, we have demonstrated the feasibility of using clinical trials to identify, contact, and study long-term cancer survivors and the possibility of comparing them with the non-cancer general population. These results represent the first data from the larger LTS-01 study. When the complete findings are reported encompassing patient-reported outcomes of quality of life, function, and symptoms, this will offer a better understanding of how these health behaviors affect the experience of long-term cancer survivors," the authors write.

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