As mentioned at the beginning of this text, close follow-up is mandatory for patients who undergo surgery with curative intent. Other very important factors that should closely be monitored during the follow-up are metachronous tumours, other malignancies and distant metastases . Metachronous tumours and other premalignant lesions should be mentioned here because their early detection offers a chance of a cure.
Patients with rectal and colon cancer are also amenable to other malignancies (breast, gynaecological, lung) and investigations to discover those should be also included in the follow-up.
Once more we should highlight several factors very important for good and reliable follow-up. The most important factors that can stratify risk groups of these patients are: stage of the disease, as mentioned; invasion into adjacent structures; tumour fixation and grading; mucinous component of a tumour; and adjuvant treatment. Another factor that is very important, but difficult to ascertain, is the surgeon .
Close follow-up of patients should be maintained for three, not two years. In order to rationally distribute the resources, patient should be divided into three risk groups and followed accordingly .
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