Management and outcome of colorectal cancer during pregnancy: report of 41 cases

On behalf of the Writing Committee of the International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy (INCIP) on this particular manuscript

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Background: Colorectal cancer in pregnancy is rare, with an incidence of 0.8 per 100,000 pregnancies. Advanced disease (stage III or IV) is diagnosed more frequently in pregnant patients. We aimed to review all cases of colorectal cancer in pregnancy from the International Network on Cancer, Infertility and Pregnancy database in order to learn more about this rare disease and improve its management. Methods: Data on the demographic features, symptoms, histopathology, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions and outcomes (obstetric, neonatal and maternal) were analysed. Results: Twenty-seven colon and 14 rectal cancer cases were identified. Advanced disease was present in 30 patients (73.2%). During pregnancy, 21 patients (51.2%) received surgery and 12 patients (29.3%) received chemotherapy. Thirty-three patients (80.5%) delivered live babies: 21 by caesarean section and 12 vaginally. Prematurity rate was high (78.8%). Eight babies were small for gestational age (27.6%). Three patients (10.7%) developed recurrence of disease. Overall 2-year survival was 64.4%. Conclusion: Despite a more frequent presentation with advanced disease, colorectal cancer has a similar prognosis in pregnancy when compared with the general population. Diagnostic interventions and treatment should not be delayed due to the pregnancy but a balance between maternal and foetal wellbeing must always be kept in mind.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-175
JournalActa chirurgica Belgica
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2019

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