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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


BOUTER, C et al. Colorectal cancer in South Africa study on the effect of delayed diagnosis to treatment intervals on survival. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2022, vol.60, n.4, pp.229-234. ISSN 2078-5151.

BACKGROUND: Data on colorectal cancer (CRC) diagnosis to treatment interval (DTI), an index of quality assurance in high-income countries (HICs) is lacking in South Africa. This study aimed to determine DTIs and their impact on CRC survival in a South African cohort METHODS: Participants (n = 289) from the Colorectal Cancer in South Africa (CRCSA) cohort were identified for inclusion. The DTI was defined as the duration between the diagnosis and initial definitive treatment and categorised into approximate quartiles (Q1-4). The DTI quartiles were 0-14 days, 15-28 days, 29-70 days, and > 71 days. Overall survival (OS) was illustrated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared between DTI groups using Cox proportional hazards (PH) regression. RESULTS: There was no significant impact of the DTI (as quartiles) on overall CRC survival. The median length of time between DTI in this cohort was 29 days. Significant associations were identified between the DTI and self-reported ethnicity (p-value = 0.025), the site of the malignancy (colon vs rectum) (p-value < 0.0001), multidisciplinary team (MDT) review (p-value = 0.015) and the initial treatm.ent modality (p-value < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Prolonged DTIs did not significantly impact survival for those with CRC in the CRCSA cohort. Symptom to diagnosis time should be investigated as a determinant of survival.

Keywords : pathways to care; colorectal cancer; diagnosis to treatment delay; survival.

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