Background: The incidence of rectal cancer is increasing in younger age groups. Limited data is available regarding survival outcome in younger patients with conflicting results from western world. The goal of this study was to determine survival in patients with rectal cancer <30 years of age and compare it with their older counterparts in the Pakistani population. Materials and
Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients operated for rectal adenocarcinoma between January 2005 and December 2010 was performed. Patients were divided into two groups, Group 1 aged ≤30years and Group 2 aged >30years. Patient characteristics, surgical procedure, histopathological details and number of loco-regional and distant failures were compared. Expected 5 year survival was calculated using Kaplan Meier curves and significance was determined using the Log rank test.
Results: There were 38 patients in group 1 and 144 in group 2. A significantly high number of younger patients presented with poorly differentiated histology (44.7% vs 9.7%) (p=0.0001) and advanced pathological stage (63.1% vs 38.1%) (p=0.04). Predicted overall 5 year survival was 38% versus 57% in groups I and II, respectively (p=0.05). Disease free survival was 37% versus 52% and was significantly different (p=0.007).
Conclusions: Early onset rectal cancer is associated with poor pathological features and a worse outcome in Pakistani population.