Diverticular disease and colon cancer: a real association between the two diseases?

Paolo Del Rio, Matteo Rossini, Cinzia Papadia, Lorenzo Viani, Domenico Labonia, Mario Sianesi

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BACKGROUND: During the last century the incidence of diverticular disease (DD), as well as the prevalence of colonic adenocarcinoma (ADK), recorded a marked increase in Western populations. In literature has been reported a higher incidence of sigmoid colon carcinoma associated with diverticular disease suggesting a possible sharing of risk factors and pathogens between these two pathologies. 

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We prospectively examined 165 patients undergoing left colonic resection from May 2010 to December 2012 at the operating unit of General Surgery and Organ Transplantation of University Hospital of Parma , dividing them into three groups: affected by left colon cancer (120 cases), affected by complicated diverticular disease (29 cases) and affected by both diseases (16 cases). In this last group the indication for surgery has always been oncology based. All cases have been subjected to a 6 months minimum follow-up. 

RESULTS: The average age of patients operated for colonic ADK was 69.91 years. The average age of patients operated for ADK and concomitant DD, compared to that of patients treated for single DD, was statistically higher (73.8 ± 6.89 VS 60.9 ± 13.5, p = 0.004). It was found instead a higher diverticular inflammation degree in patients treated for DD compared with those treated for ADK associated with DD. No patient with ADK associated with DD showed hepatic metastases, whereas among patients with just ADK, peritoneal carcinomatosis was recorded in 2.6% of cases and liver metastases, always synchronous, in 11 .5%. The lymph nodes positivity instead, has presented a prevalence of 33.5% in patients with ADK and of 7% in patients with associated DD. 

CONCLUSION: In our study and its comparison with literature we found in synthesis multiple clinical evidences of a possible association between the two diseases. The role played by DD would lead to an early diagnosis of colonic ADK. It remains to be analyzed however the possible etiopathogenetic correlation over time between the two clinical entities, which actually still remains maybe under random association. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalAnnali Italiani di Chirurgia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2014

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