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Colorectal Dis. 2011 Aug;13(8):884-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2010.02356.x. Epub 2010 Jun 28.

Outcome of right- and left-sided colonic and rectal cancer following surgical resection.

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Department of Colorectal Surgery, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, UK.



To determine the outcome of surgery for colorectal cancer from a single region and to see whether location of the primary cancer influences prognosis.


Patients with colorectal cancer diagnosed from January 2002 to December 2006, entered into a prospective database were followed until death or to December 2008. Right-sided (caecum to transverse colon) and left-sided (splenic flexure to rectosigmoid junction) colonic cancers and rectal cancers (distal to rectosigmoid junction to the anus) were identified. Statistical analysis was performed using Pearson's chi-square test, Kaplan-Meier (log-rank statistic) and Cox regression analysis with a P-value < 0.05 denoting significance.


Of 841 patients with solitary colorectal cancers identified (median age 72 [30-101] years; 53% male), 283 (33.7%) were right-sided colonic, 330 (39.2%) were left-sided colonic and 228 (27.1%) were rectal. Respective resection rates were 82.7%, 77.9% and 91.6%, and curative resection rates were 79.9%, 82.9.0% and 85.7%, respectively. There was no significant difference in recurrence rates between right- (16.1%), left-sided (23.0%) colonic and rectal (20.7%) cancers (P = 0.207). Respective mean survival rates were 54.4, 59.8 and 63.6 months (P = 0.007).


Right-sided colorectal cancers had a worse prognosis than left-sided and rectal cancers, possibly because of more advanced staging and fewer curative resections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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