Pan African Medical Journal

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Histopathologic characteristics and short-term outcomes of colorectal cancer in young Tunisian patients: one center’s experience

Mahdi Bouassida, Bilel Feidi, Bassem Mroua, Mohamed Fadhel Chtourou, Selim Sassi, Fathi Chebbi, Souheil Bouchtili, Mohamed Mongi Mighri, Hassen Touinsi, Mohamed Msaddak Azzouz, Sadok Sassi


Introduction: Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is generally a disease of persons older than 40 years. Concerning younger patients, controversies still exist regarding features and prognosis of CRC. We performed this study to characterise CRC in young patients (≤40 years) as well as to evaluate short-term outcome in comparison with older patients (>40 years) with CRC. Methods: Clinical and histopathological parameters of 40 patients aged 40 years or less were compared with 240 patients aged more than 40 years. Results: In young patients, the minority suffered from hereditary cancer syndromes (0.4%). Furthermore, up to 87% of young patients denied any cancers in their families. Compared with older patients, young patients had more mucinous adenocarcinomas (32.5% vs. 11.5%; p=0.02), more venous invasion (p=0.021), more perineural invasion (p=0.028). For grading (p=0.42), lymphatic invasion (p=0.17) and tumor sites (p=0.46), no significant differences between young and older patients were found. Young patients had less post operative morbidity (p=0.039), less post operative mortality (0.029). Young and older patients had the same overall 1-year survival rates (p=0.24), and the same cancer-related 1-year survival rates (p=0.1). Conclusion: Tunisian patients present with colorectal cancer at a more advanced stage of the disease at younger ages compared to developed countries. The early detection of CRC followed by a sufficient oncologic treatment is crucial regardless of age. It is mandatory for all patients with suspicious symptoms to undergo early adequate diagnoses.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 12:10

AJOL African Journals Online