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No differences in survival or neonatal outcomes in pregnancy-associated colorectal cancer
Date:2/26/2009

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) In one of the first studies to examine maternal and newborn health risks and colorectal cancer, UC Davis researchers have found that women diagnosed with the disease during or shortly after their pregnancies have the same survival as women who have the disease and are not pregnant. The study also found that, while there is an increased chance of preterm labor, the outcomes for the babies is the same for women with colorectal cancer as for those without the disease.

"We see a few cases of this every year, but there has been very little information so far on whether colorectal cancer discovered during or just after pregnancy leads to different outcomes. Our study clarifies these issues so physicians can confidently provide guidance to patients," said Lloyd Smith, a gynecologic oncologist with the UC Davis Cancer Center and senior author of the study.

The study, which will appear in the March issue of The Journal of Maternal-Fetal Health and Neonatal Medicine, used information gathered over an eight-year period from linked state of California databases on hospital discharges, birth records and cancers. Researchers compared information on 106 women diagnosed with colorectal cancer during or up to one year after pregnancy with two other groups. The first group included age-matched pregnant women without colorectal cancer. The second group included age-matched, non-pregnant women with colorectal cancer. A range of factors were considered, including demographics, treatment, onset of prenatal care, insurance type, tumor subtype and survival times.

The team found no significant distinctions in the comparisons, including survival times for the women with cancer, which were nearly identical 43 percent in the pregnant group and 44 percent in the non-pregnant group. There was a two-fold increase in preterm labor and premature deliveries among women with colorectal cancer, however this had no affect on newborn health
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Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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