Early mortality from colorectal cancer in England: a retrospective observational study of the factors associated with death in the first year after diagnosis

A Downing, A Aravani, U Macleod, S Oliver, P J Finan, J D Thomas, P Quirke, J R Wilkinson, E J A Morris

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Background:The United Kingdom performs poorly in international comparisons of colorectal cancer survival with much of the deficit owing to high numbers of deaths close to the time of diagnosis. This retrospective cohort study investigates the patient, tumour and treatment characteristics of those who die in the first year after diagnosis of their disease.Methods:Patients diagnosed with colon (n=65 733) or rectal (n=26 123) cancer in England between 2006 and 2008 were identified in the National Cancer Data Repository. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate the odds of death within 1 month, 1-3 months and 3-12 months after diagnosis.Results:In all, 11.5% of colon and 5.4% of rectal cancer patients died within a month of diagnosis: this proportion decreased significantly over the study period. For both cancer sites, older age, stage at diagnosis, deprivation and emergency presentation were associated with early death. Individuals who died shortly after diagnosis were also more likely to have missing data about important prognostic factors such as disease stage and treatment.Conclusion:Using routinely collected data, at no inconvenience to patients, we have identified some important areas relating to early deaths from colorectal cancer, which merit further research.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 3 January 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2012.585 www.bjcancer.com.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-685
Number of pages5
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2013

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