This is part of a series of short reports exploring specific issues in Oesophago-Gastric (OG) cancer. This short report is entitled: Why do patients with a curative treatment plan for oesophago-gastric cancer not go on to receive surgery?”
The main curative treatment for patients with localised OG cancer is to remove the tumour with surgery (usually along with receiving chemotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy). As many OG patients are diagnosed with the condition at an advanced stage, only 30% of patients are considered as appropriate to receive curative surgery. Additionally, only two-thirds of patients with a plan to receive curative surgery go on to have the surgical resection. This report examines the potential reason for this difference between planned and actual treatments.
Initial examinations conclude that differences are likely observed due to the number of specialists involved in identifying potential treatment options for a patient and that changing patient preferences are also a factor. Furthermore, patient fitness and tumour characteristics may also change before treatment commences leading to change of plan. The National Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Audit plans to follow-up this initial investigation with further evaluation to enable specific recommendations in subsequent works.