Preoperative staging of colon cancer according to Swedish national guidelines implies imaging evaluation of the primary tumour, liver and lungs. Failure to adhere to these guidelines results in negative scorings in the national registration system. In the present study we report the extent of compliance with these guidelines.
Since 2007 clinical data on all patients diagnosed with colon cancer in Sweden have been collected in a national database. This includes information on pretherapeutic diagnostic imaging performed, pretherapeutic TNM stage and data on treatment and follow-up. All patients diagnosed with colon cancer in Sweden between 2007 and 2010 were included.
Nine thousand and eight-three patients (i.e. 60.5% of all patients) had a complete pretherapeutic radiological evaluation; 65.2% had a CT or MRI of the primary tumour, whereas over 80% had examinations of the liver and lungs. There were no difference related to sex, but more patients under 75 years had a complete evaluation. There were large differences between different regions; one region performed a complete evaluation of 78.3% of all patients. The proportion of patients examined increased from 53.9 to 65.0% during the study period. Elective cases were more frequently evaluated before treatment than those with an emergency presentation.
Most patients in Sweden had a complete pretreatment imaging evaluation of the colon cancer with geographical and time-dependent variations. Knowledge of the importance of these variations and correlation of pre- and postoperative TNM stage is warranted, and such studies are ongoing.
The objective was to describe regional variations in M-staging in patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer within a Danish county and to compare clinical practice with guideline recommendations.
Data were as captured from 1) a prospective, non-interventional study counting 635 consecutive patients referred for M-staging in the 2008-2009 period at three regional hospitals within one county, and 2) a questionnaire on M-staging practice completed by the five sites performing M-staging in the same county in 2015.
All three sites referred patients for M-staging in 2008, irrespective of their risk factors. Two of the three sites maintained this practice in 2015. Furthermore, in 2015, three of five sites performed M-staging in intermediate and high-risk patients only. Planar whole-body bone scans were standard in all sites in 2008 with single photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) being performed if required and if available. In 2015, two sites used choline positron emission tomography/CT for primary staging of high-risk patients against guideline recommendations. The use of SPECT/CT showed wide variations from "if required" to "mandatory" head-to-thigh imaging. There were notable variations between clinical practice and guidelines in 2008, and this was even more evident in 2015.
Considerable variations existed with respect to the M-staging imaging practices in prostate cancer within a single Danish county. The variation was more pronounced in 2015 than in 2008. Clinical practice conflicted in part with European and national Danish guidelines.