Association between appendectomy and subsequent colorectal cancer development: an Asian population study.

January 22, 2021

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 Association between appendectomy and subsequent colorectal cancer development: an Asian population study.
Objectives: The appendix may modulate colon microbiota and bowel inflammation. We investigated whether appendectomy alters colorectal cancer risk.

Methods: We identified a cohort of 75,979 patients who underwent appendectomy between 1997 and 1999 based on the insurance claims of Taiwan. A comparison cohort of 303,640 persons without appendectomy was selected randomly, frequency matched by age, sex, comorbidity and entry year was also selected. We monitored subsequent colorectal cancer development in both cohorts.

Results: The overall colorectal cancer incidence was 14% higher in the appendectomy patients than in the comparison cohort (p <0.05): the highest incidence was observed for rectal cancer, and the lowest incidence was observed for cancer of the cecum-ascending colon for both cohorts. Men were at higher risk than women. Subjects ≥ 60 years had an HR of 12.8 compared to those <60 years. The incidence of colorectal cancer was much higher in 1.5-3.5 years post appendectomy follow-up than for the comparisons (HR of 2.13). Patients who received an incidental appendectomy had an HR of 2.90 when compared to the comparisons.

Conclusions: Results of our study suggest that appendectomy in patients with appendicitis is likely associated with the development of colorectal cancer in the post-surgery period.

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