Value of a Routine Follow‐up Endoscopy Program for the Detection of Recurrent Colorectal Carcinoma

Jamie S. Barkin, Michael E. Cohen, Mitchell Flaxman, Anne S. Lindhlad, Robert J. Mayer, Martin H. Kaiser, Seth M. Steinherg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Four hundred fifty-two patients with surgically resected colon or rectal cancer were evaluated to determine the incidence of intraluminal recurrences and the utility of a routine endoscopy screening program for detecting such recurrences. At the time of analysis, recurrent disease was found in 86 of 380 colon cancer patients and 21 of 72 rectal cancer patients. Local recurrence, defined as tumor within 400 cm2 of the primary, was present in 38 of 86 colon, and 11 of 21 rectal cancer patients. Of those 49 local recurrences, 15 were intraluminal, 6 of which were initially detected by a follow-up endoscopy program. Time to diagnosis, stage of disease, and survival were similar for patients whose lesions were detected by routine endoscopy versus those found by other means. New primary (metachronous) lesions defined as an intraluminal lesion occurring at least 5 cm beyond the surgical anastomosis were identified in six colon cancer patients and no rectal cancer patients. Of these six lesions, four were discovered during routine endoscopy. Thus, a routine follow-up endoscopy program is an important tool for the detection of intraluminal recurrence of colon and rectal cancer in patients who have undergone curative resection. However, routine follow-up endoscopy should not be the sole method of follow-up, since the incidence of intraluminal recurrence is small, and may initially be detected by other means in the majority of cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1360
Number of pages6
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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