U.S. hospitals ‘Flunk’ colon cancer

Never miss a tee time, though

School has barely begun, but many U.S. hospitals have already received their report card in colon cancer. They flunked.

A new study finds the majority of hospitals don’t check enough lymph nodes after a patient’s colon cancer surgery to determine if the disease has spread.

Checking more lymph nodes is linked to improved survival of colon cancer because it allows doctors to accurately diagnose the stage of disease and prescribe the most effective treatment…

“It’s disappointing that despite so much emphasis on this particular issue, so many hospitals still aren’t checking enough lymph nodes to ensure they diagnose the accurate stage of cancer,” said Karl Bilimoria, M.D., lead author and a surgery resident at the Feinberg School. “Knowing the accurate stage of your disease affects your survival and treatment. That’s critical.”

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Phew! Pretty scary.

I’m not surprised at casual ineptness in American hospitals. You would hope that surgeons dealing with cancer might be up to standard, though.

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