Barriers to Optimal Assessment of Lymph Nodes in Colorectal Cancer Specimens

Frances C. Wright, Calvin H.L. Law, Linda D. Last, Rosalie Ritacco, Deepa Kumar, Eugene Hsieh, Mahmoud Khalifa, Andrew J. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Lymph node (LN) retrieval and assessment is critically important for accurate staging and treatment planning in colorectal cancer (CRC). Practicing pathologists in Ontario were identified and surveyed by phone to identify barriers to optimal retrieval and assessment. Of the pathologists surveyed, 57.9% were aware of guidelines for LN retrieval in CRC, but only 25.0% identified that a minimum of 12 LNs are necessary for accurate designation of node negativity. An important role exists for an education strategy aimed at bridging the knowledge gap among practicing pathologists and surgeons regarding optimal LN assessment in CRC specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)663-670
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Barriers to practice change
  • Cancer staging
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Education
  • Lymph node assessment


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