ABSTRACT: Population-based registries are the best way to draw a picture of the management of a disease. The purpose of this study was to analyse therapeutic modalities for rectal cancers in seven French areas in 1990 and 1995, before and just after a consensus conference devoted to this topic.
A community-based series of 945 patients (402 in 1990, 543 in 1995) with rectal cancer was used to assess therapeutic modalities and stage at diagnosis.
Colonoscopy was performed in most of the cases (90% in 1990 and 1995). There was significant change between 1990 and 1995 in stage at diagnosis and cancer resection. The rate of continence-preserving operations was similar in 1990 and in 1995, as was the rate of adjuvant radiotherapy. There was a shift between 1990 and 1995 from postoperative radiotherapy to preoperative radiotherapy. There was an increase in the use of adjuvant chemotherapy.
Changes in the management of rectal cancer in France over the past few years have concerned mainly resection rate, stage at diagnosis and adjuvant therapy. The recommendations of the consensus conference were followed only partly, in particular for adjuvant preoperative radiotherapy, which has not reached its full development, and adjuvant chemotherapy, which tends to be overprescribed, considering how little is known about its effectiveness.
European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 11/2004; 16(10):1003-9. · 1.76 Impact Factor