Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in Korea. Its average growth rate has been 3.7% annually from 1999 to 2013. The 5-year relative survival rate is 75.6%. The number of CRC survivors is expected to increase steadily because of its high incidence and survival rate. Because CRC survivors are at risk for recurrence, metachronous cancer, and other cancers, they should be checked regularly. Recommended surveillance includes history-taking and physical examination, colonoscopy, carcinoembryonic antigen testing, and computed tomography. Routine complete blood counts, liver function test, and positron emission tomography are not recommended. CRC survival, which is associated with Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis, is also related to a higher risk of other cancers such as gastrointestinal and gynecologic cancers. Additional surveillance should be taken. CRC survivors could complain of general health problems such as cancer-related fatigue and psychosocial/cognitive dysfunction, in addition to treatment-related problems including bowel/urologic/sexual dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, and ostomy care. They are also at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. The primary care physician should counsel CRC survivors about their health problems and make an effort to address these concerns. Primary care physicians should try to communicate with CRC survivors and all specialists for clinical follow-up care.
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