NEW YORK (AP) - In a St. Joseph's Healthscene report, a new study shows many colon cancer patients aren't getting all the screenings recommended after surgery to make sure the disease hasn't returned.
Of the more than 4,000 patients 66 and older looked at, only about 40 percent got all the doctor visits, blood tests and the colonoscopy advised in the three years after cancer surgery.
Most of the time it was the blood tests that went neglected. The study's leader says he's putting most of the blame for that on the patients' doctors, saying perhaps the follow-up care was being provided by doctors who aren't specialists and who aren't familiar with the guidelines.
About 149,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. Survival after five years varies from 90 percent for cancer that hasn't spread to 10 percent for advanced cases.