Which patients with colorectal cancer are followed up by general practitioners? A population-based study

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Date publication

décembre 2007


Membres identifiés du Cancéropôle Est :
Pr BEDENNE Laurent, Pr BEJEAN Sophie, Pr BINQUET Christine, Dr BOUVIER Anne-Marie, Dr LEJEUNE Catherine

Tous les auteurs :
Mahboubi A, Lejeune C, Coriat R, Binquet C, Bouvier AM, Bejean S, Bedenne L, Bonithon-Kopp C


The aim of the study was to assess the contribution of general practitioners in the surveillance of colorectal cancer, and to examine characteristics and survival of patients with routine general practitioner follow-up. This French registry-based study included 389 patients diagnosed with first colorectal cancer in 1998 and free of disease at least 6 months after curative surgery. For each physician involved, medical records were thoroughly reviewed to collect information about the clinical examinations and follow-up tests prescribed within 3 years after surgery or until death or detection of recurrence. Five-year vital status was obtained through registry records. The proportion of routine clinical examinations performed by general practitioners increased from 35% in the first year to 65% in the third year. Patients having undergone regular general practitioner routine examinations ( >= one examination every 6-month period) had significantly less advanced disease (odds ratio: 0.45; 95% confidence interval: 0.21-0.96), preoperative complications (odds ratio: 0.28; 95% confidence interval: 0.08-0.91) and routine examinations by gastroenterologists/oncologists (odds ratio: 0.37; 95% confidence interval: 0.14-0.98) compared with those without general practitioner examinations. Routine general practitioner follow-up had no influence on 3 and 5-year survival. General practitioners detected significantly more recurrences than specialists in patients over 75 and in those presenting symptoms. French general practitioners are widely involved in the surveillance of patients with early-stage colorectal cancer, without any unfavourable impact on the patient's survival. Some suggestions exist that continuing education in oncology may increase the implication of general practitioners in colorectal cancer surveillance.


Eur J Cancer Prev. 2007 Dec;16(6):535-41.