Almost 1/3 of Colon Cancer Patients Stop Chemotherapy, Leading To Double The Death Rate

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Chemotherapy and Colon Cancer

New research from Columbia University Medical Center has found that as many as 30 percent of patients with stage III colon cancer who were prescribed six months of chemotherapy with a combination of 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin stopped their treatment prematurely. Stopping chemotherapy for colon cancer prematurely was shown to be equivalent to receiving no treatment at all. The findings add to the arsenal of reasons why colon cancer patients, and all cancer patients, need to complete their chemotherapy regimens whenever possible.

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Previous studies have shown that not completing chemotherapy regimens for breast cancer is associated with shorter survival. This is the first study to look at a link between mortality rates from colon cancer and treatment adherence.

"The intuitive thinking is that if you complete most of a treatment regimen, you should get most of the treatment benefit. But these findings are significant because they indicate that completing treatment is as critical for colon cancer as it is for breast cancer

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