The publication of new mortality data on colorectal cancer surgery is a significant step forward in helping clinicians understand treatment of this complex condition, says The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland (ACPGBI) and The Royal College of Surgeons who welcome the publication and offer support to NHS Trusts.
The research, published in GUT (‘Thirty-day post-operative mortality after colorectal cancer surgery in England’), has been made possible because of the establishment of the National Cancer Data Repository as well as the resources of the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). This information provides a new method of investigating differences in outcomes following surgery for colorectal cancer and in the future will be linked with data from the ACPGBI’s National Bowel Cancer Audit Project (NBOCAP) so that further progress in this area can be monitored.
Both the College and Association stand ready to provide independent advice and support to those Trusts identified as having unexpectedly high mortality rates and are examining what marks out those with the lowest. Treatment for colorectal cancer is complicated with quality of surgery just one of a number of factors in care such as the socio-economic profile of the local population, the timing of when patients are referred and the general organisation of services will all be potential factors in variation.
Mike Parker, President of the ACPGBI said:
“This research gives us a vital snapshot of outcomes from colorectal cancer surgery and, while overall mortality rates have been steadily improving, significant room remains for improvement. A small number of units have results that are either worse or better than expected; the next challenge is for us to work out why and linking this data to our existing audit should help provide the answers. The wider benefit of this type of measure is that the results of all units will improve more quickly through what we learn and that is really good news for patients.”
John Black, president of the Royal College of Surgeons said:
“The priority given to cancer treatment in recent years has seen more information gathered on the disease than ever before. This study is one example of a whole raft of data on cancer surgery now coming through the NCIN and will be of huge benefit in helping clinicians select the most effective course of treatment for what are very complex conditions. The quality and timing of surgery remains the most important defining factor in whether someone diagnosed with cancer survives – so it is important that resources continue to go into collecting these data.”
Bowel cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK and the high numbers of patients needing surgery mean that colorectal surgeons are required in most NHS hospitals.
Notes to Editors:
- The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland is a professional society representing more than 1000 Colon and Rectal specialists dedicated to advancing and promoting the science and practice of the treatment of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the colon, rectum, and anus. It is also known as The Association of Bowel Specialists.
- The Royal College of Surgeons of England is committed to enabling surgeons to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. Registered charity number: 212808. For more information please visit www.rcseng.ac.uk
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