Refusal of colorectal cancer surgery in the United States: Predictors and associated cancer-specific mortality in a Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) cohort

Colorectal Cancer
04/09/2020

Surg Open Sci. 2020 Jul 19;2(4):12-18. doi: 10.1016/j.sopen.2020.07.001. eCollection 2020 Oct.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: This study aims to understand patient factors associated with refusal of surgery for nonmetastatic colorectal cancer and the associated cancer-specific mortality.

METHODS: Patients diagnosed with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer between 2004 and 2015 from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program were included.

RESULTS: A total of 152,731 (99.4%) patients underwent surgery, and 983 (0.6%) refused surgery. Independent predictors of refusal included male sex, older age, minority race, single relationship status, being uninsured, more recent date of diagnosis, having an earlier stage of diagnosis, and rectal versus colon cancer. Refusing surgery for nonmetastatic colorectal cancer increased cancer-specific mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 5.10, 95% confidence interval 4.62-5.62).

CONCLUSION: Most patients diagnosed with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer undergo surgery in the United States. However, refusal of surgery is increasing and associated with higher cancer-specific mortality. A better understanding of surgical decision making in colorectal cancer is urgently needed.