If you are scheduling surgery for colon cancer or rectal cancer in the United States, you may want to consider whether your hospital is a National Cancer Institute-designated hospital (NCI). Experts from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will present research at the American Surgical Association Annual Meeting that concludes that having colon or rectal cancer surgery at a National Cancer Institute-designated hospital greatly improves short and long term survival. Dr. Mahmoud and her colleagues arrived at their results using SEER-Medicare data from more than 52,000 patients across the US from 1996-2003.

The title of their presentation is “NCI Designation Predicts Improved Outcomes in Colorectal Cancer Surgery.”

Specifically, NCI designation is associated with lower risk of postoperative death and improved long-term survival. Possible factors responsible for these benefits include surgeon training, multidisciplinary care, and adherence to treatment guidelines. Studies are underway to further clarify the factors leading to the improved patient outcomes at NCI-designated hospitals for colon cancer and rectal cancer surgery. Their research will be published in the Annals of Surgery later this year (Newswise).