Rectal cancer patients benefit from implementation of a dedicated colorectal cancer center in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Am J Surg. 2009 Jul;198(1):100-4. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2008.09.020. Epub 2009 Mar 6.


Background: A dedicated colorectal cancer (CRC) center was created in a Veterans Affairs Medical Center with the intent of improving quality of patient care and multidisciplinary cooperation.

Methods: Retrospective and prospective databases before and after creation of the CRC center, respectively, were created. Patients entered in each database included those requiring surgical intervention for CRC treatment. Statistical analyses included Fisher's exact, chi-square, and unpaired Student t tests as well as analysis of variance.

Results: The overall quality of care of CRC patients has improved as evidenced by a larger percentage of complete, margin-negative resections (P <.05) as well as an increase in the number of lymph nodes excised at surgery (P <.0001). Furthermore, a multidisciplinary approach is clearly beneficial as evidenced by the increased number of CRC patients receiving appropriate multidisciplinary therapy (P <.0001).

Conclusions: A dedicated CRC center has significantly improved quality of care for CRC patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colectomy / standards*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Veterans / standards*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Rectal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Rectal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs*
  • Veterans / psychology*