Cancer-surgery Complications Rise While Death Risk Drops

On 22/Aug/2013 / In Medical News

The number of complications experienced by United States patients after major cancer surgery is rising, but fewer are dying from their operations, a new study reveals.
Researchers analysed data from 2.5 million patients older than 18 who had major cancer surgery between 1999 and 2009. Procedures included partial or complete removal of a cancerous colon, bladder, esophagus, stomach, uterus, lung, pancreas or prostate.
The study found “marked and worrisome increases” in certain types of complications after surgery.
“Our report shows that while the incidence of preventable adverse events after major cancer surgery — blood clots, infections, respiratory failure and pressure ulcers — is increasing, the overall mortality of patients undergoing these procedures is decreasing in the US,” study co-author Dr. Jesse Sammon, a urologist at Henry Ford Hospital, said in a hospital news release.
“This paradox is explained in our report by the fact that physicians are probably getting increasingly better at identifying these adverse events early and managing them more effectively, thereby leading to lower mortality rates from adverse events and, by extension, lower overall mortality rates in the entire population of patients undergoing these procedures,” Sammon said.
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