Delaying definitive resection in early stage (I/II) colon cancer appears safe up to 6 weeks

Jesse T. Davidson, Jonathan S. Abelson, Sean C. Glasgow, Steven R. Hunt, Matthew G. Mutch, Paul E. Wise, Matthew L. Silviera, Radhika K. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to determine if there is an impact of surgical delay on 5-year overall survival (OS) from early stage colon cancer, and if so, to define how long surgery can safely be postponed. Methods: Using the NCDB, we compared early (14–30 days) and delayed surgery (31–90 days) in patients with Stage I/II colon cancer. Outcomes included OS at five years and odds of death. Results: Delayed resection conferred a decreased 5-year OS of 73.0% (95% CI, 72.6–73.4), compared to early resection 78.3% (95% CI, 77.9–78.8). When time to surgery was divided into one-week intervals, there was no difference in the odds of death with delay up to 35–41 days (6 weeks), but odds of death increased by 9% per week thereafter. Conclusions: These data support that definitive resection for early stage colon cancer may be safely delayed up to 6 weeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-407
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Cancer outcomes
  • Colon cancer
  • Overall survival
  • Surgical delay


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