New Guidelines Set Forth for Care of Colorectal Cancer Survivors

Guidelines help identify and manage potential physical and psychosocial effects of colorectal cancer.

Guidelines help identify and manage potential physical and psychosocial effects of colorectal cancer.

New American Cancer Society Cancer Survivorship Care guidelines have been released to provide primary care clinicians with recommendations for providing comprehensive care to the estimated 1.2 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.

The second to be published in a series of cancer survivorship care guidelines developed by the American Cancer Society, it provides guidance to identify and manage potential physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects of colorectal cancer and its treatment, as well as other key elements of adult post-treatment survivorship care.

The incidence of colorectal cancer has been on a steep decline for the past 20 years due in large part to increased screening that leads to the removal of polyps before they turn cancerous. However, colorectal cancer survivors comprise more than 1.2 million of the nearly 15 million cancer survivors in the United States. It is the second most common cancer among male cancer survivors and the third among female survivors.

The guidelines include recommendations for the essential components of comprehensive cancer survivorship care, from screening for recurrence and early detection of second primary cancers, to assessment and management of physical and psychosocial long-term and late effects of colorectal cancer and its treatment.

“Considering the potential significant impacts of cancer and its treatment on colorectal cancer survivor health and quality of life, it is imperative that clinicians have credible guidance to help ensure that cancer survivors receive high-quality, comprehensive, coordinated clinical follow-up care,” said Catherine Alfano, PhD, principal investigator and project director for the National Cancer Survivorship Resource Center. “While there are still important gaps in research, enough evidence exists to provide these consensus-based guidelines to improve post-treatment care, which we expect to help cancer survivors mitigate the known impacts of colorectal cancer and its treatment.”