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Zullig LL, Smith VA, Jackson GL, Danus S, Schnell M, Lindquist J, Provenzale D, Weinberger M, Kelley MJ, Bosworth HB. Colorectal Cancer Statistics From the Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry. Clinical Colorectal Cancer. 2016 Dec 1; 15(4):e199-e204.
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a common and potentially deadly disease. Although the United States has robust cancer data reporting, information from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system has often been underrepresented in national cancer data sources. We describe veterans with incident CRC in terms of their patient and tumor characteristics and mortality. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients diagnosed or treated with CRC at any VA institution in the fiscal years 2009 to 2012 were identified using 3 data sources: (1) VA Central Cancer Registry (VACCR); (2) VA Corporate Data Warehouse; and (3) VA Reports and Measures Portal. The CRC frequencies within the VA population and survival curves were examined descriptively and compared with the national projections using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program data. RESULTS: A total of 12,551 veterans with CRC were included in the present analysis. The median age at diagnosis was 65.5 years. Approximately 97% (n = 12,229) of the CRC cases were diagnosed among men. Approximately 44% (n = 5517) of the patients were diagnosed with localized disease. The 3-year survival rate was associated with age (P < .01) and stage (P < .01) at diagnosis. We identified a possible decrease in VA CRC incidence over time. CONCLUSION: Although the VA CRC patient population was heavily skewed toward the male gender, the patient and tumor characteristics were similar between the incident CRC cases reported by the VACCR and those reported to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. This suggests that research findings resulting from the VACCR might have applicability beyond the VA healthcare system setting.