Post-treatment surveillance in colorectal cancer patients: how to do it? A comprehensive review

Colorectal Cancer

Wysocki PT. Pol Arch Intern Med 2020.


Patients who undergo a potentially curative treatment of colorectal cancer are at risk of local recurrences, distant metastases and metachronous neoplasms. Accordingly, these patients typically undergo a multimodal oncological surveillance aimed to detect relapses early, expecting a higher rate of radical re-treatments and better overall survival. Despite much research the optimal diagnostic panel and the intensity of surveillance have not been well established. Evidence indicate, however, that

more intensive follow-up is unlikely to improve survival after a curative colorectal cancer surgery, chiefly due to the uncommonness of recurrences suitable for salvage treatment. A typical surveillance recommended by guidelines include regular physical examinations, computed tomography scans, serum carcinoembryonic antigen monitoring, and colonoscopies. The object of this comprehensive review is to discuss different patterns of relapses observed in colorectal cancer patients, present diagnostic options, and summarize different strategies and recommendations of the posttreatment surveillance.