Due to the improved colorectal cancer (CRC) survival in the US, patients may live long enough after CRC diagnosis to the point where non-cancer-related comorbidities may considerably impact their overall survival. In this study, we perform a long-term analysis of causes of death (COD) following non-metastatic CRC with respect to different demographic and tumour-related criteria.
We gained access to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data to review patients diagnosed with non-metastatic CRC during 2000-2015. We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for each COD following CRC. SMRs represented the change of risk of a specific COD following CRC diagnoses when compared to the risk in the general US population.
We reviewed 302,345 patients, of which 112,008 died during the study period. More deaths (68.3%) occurred within 5 years following non-metastatic CRC diagnosis with 76,486 deaths. CRC was the most common COD (51.4%) within five years of diagnosis followed by heart disease (15.2%) and other cancers (8.4%). As time passed after diagnosis, the number of CRC deaths decreased, and other non-cancer causes increased where after 10 years only 10.4% of deaths were attributed to CRC, 15.3% to other cancers, and 34.2% were secondary to heart disease.
Following non-metastatic CRC diagnosis, most deaths remain to be secondary to CRC. Other causes including other cancers and cardiovascular disease represent a significant number of deaths especially in the five years following initial CRC diagnosis. Our findings help guide counselling CRC patients regarding future health risks.
• Most common causes of death following non metastatic CRC are heart diseases, other cancers, COPD and cerebrovascular diseases. • Physicians should counsel patients regarding survivorship with cancer-screening and focus on prevention from non-cancer deaths. • These findings should be considered by physicians who give care for non-metastatic CRC survivors.

© AlphaMed Press 2021.