AIM: Colorectal cancer survivors are one of the most rapidly growing groups of patients living with and beyond cancer. In a national multidisciplinary setting, we have examined the extent of late treatment-related sequelae in colorectal cancer survivors and present the scientific evidence for management of these conditions in this patient category with the aim of facilitating identification and treatment.
METHOD: A systematic search for existing guidelines and relevant studies was performed across 16 and 4 databases, respectively, from inception to 2021. This yielded 13 guidelines and 886 abstracts, of which 188 were included in the finalized guideline (231 included for full text review). Secondarily, bibliographies were cross-referenced and 53 additional articles were included.
RESULTS: Symptoms have been divided into overall categories including psychosocial, bowel-related, urinary, sexual (male and female), pain/neuropathy and fatigue symptoms or complaints that are examined individually. Merging and grading of data resulted in 22 recommendations and 42 management strategies across categories. Recommendations are of a more general character, whereas management strategies provide more practical advice suited for initiation on site before referral to specialized units.
CONCLUSION: Treatment-related sequelae in colorectal cancer survivors are common and attention needs to be focused on identifying patients with unmet treatment needs and the development of evidence-based treatment algorithms.