UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Emergency surgical consultation for cancer patients: identifying the prognostic determinants of health Taqi, Kadhim; Kim, Diane; Yip, Lily; Laane, Charlotte; Rana, Zeeshan; Hameed, S. Morad; Hamilton, Trevor; Stuart, Heather C.


Background Patients with malignancy often require urgent surgical consultation for treatment or palliation of disease. The objective of this study is to explore the prognostic determinants affecting care in acute cancer-related surgical presentations and the effect on patient outcomes. Main body This is a retrospective review of patients referred to the acute general surgery (ACS) service at a tertiary hospital for management of cancer-related problem from July 2017 to September 2018. Patient demographics, course in hospital, and survival were recorded. Multivariant logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier estimates were performed. One hundred eighty-nine patients were identified (53% female) with a mean age of 65.9 years. Forty-two patients (22%) were newly diagnosed with cancer on presentation, and 94 (50%) patients had metastatic disease. Cancer staging was completed in 84% of patients, and 65% had multidisciplinary team (MDT) assessment during their hospital stay. Surgery was performed on 90 (48%) patients, of which 31.2% was with palliative intent. Overall mortality was 56% with 30- and 60-day mortality of 15% and 22%, respectively. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for a 60-day mortality was high in patients presenting with new cancer diagnosis (OR 3.18, 95% CI 1.18–9.02, p=0.03), metastatic disease (OR 5.11, 95% CI 2.03–12.85, p=0.001), or systemic therapy on presentation (OR 3.46, 95% CI 1.30–9.22, p=0.013). Conclusion Emergency surgical referral is common in patients with malignancy. Surgical decision making can be challenging due to the heterogeneity of this population and their associated comorbidities. Optimizing prognostic determinants such as goal-directed palliative care, MDT discussions, and bridging to systemic therapy can improve patient outcomes.

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Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)