Surgical guidelines are followed over ninety percent of the time for newly diagnosed cancer patients

Practice guidelines for appropriate surgical care for newly diagnosed cancer patients are followed over ninety percent of the time, according to a study in the Archives of Surgery.

For the study, researchers examined Medicare claims data from surgical resection for breast, colon, gastric, rectal, or thyroid cancer diagnosed between January 2000 and December 2005. 

Key findings:

  • 90% of all patients received recommended care for 7 of the 11 guidelines examined
  • For six of the measures, at least half of the institutions followed the guidelines 100% of the time.
  • For several of the guidelines recommending examination of a minimum number of lymph nodes in colon and gastric cancer, however, rates of compliance were low for elderly patients.

(Sources: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, June 22, 2011; Archives of Surgery, http://archsurg.ama-assn.org, June, 2011)