To investigate the impact of the Netherlands national colorectal cancer screening programme on the number of surgical resections for colorectal carcinoma and on waiting times for surgery.
Data were extracted from the Dutch Surgical Colorectal Audit. Patients with primary colorectal cancer surgery between 2011-2015 were included. The volume and median waiting times for the years 2011-2015 are described. Waiting times from first tumor positive biopsy until the operation (biopsy-operation) and first preoperative visit to the surgeon until the operation (visit-operation) are analyzed with a univariate and multivariate linear regression analysis. Separate analysis was done for visit-operation for academic and non-academic hospitals and for screening compared to non-screening patients.
In 2014 there was an increase of 1469 (15%) patients compared to 2013. In 2015 this increase consisted of 1168 (11%) patients compared to 2014. In 2014 and 2015, 1359 (12%) and 3111 (26%) patients were referred to the surgeon through screening, respectively. The median waiting time of biopsy-operation significantly decreased (ß: 0.94, 95%BI) over the years 2014-2015 compared to 2011-2013. In non-academic hospitals, the waiting time visit-operation also decreased significantly (ß: 0.89, 95%BI 0.87-0.90) over the years 2014-2015 compared to 2011-2013. No difference was found in waiting times between patients referred to the surgeon through screening compared to non-screening.
There is a clear increase in volume since the introduction of the colorectal cancer screening programme without an increase in waiting time until surgery.
Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.