Colon and rectal cancer in pregnancy

M. A. Bernstein, R. D. Madoff, P. F. Caushaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Colorectal carcinoma presenting in pregnancy is an uncommon disease that is reported to be associated with an extremely poor prognosis. To better characterize this disease, we surveyed the membership of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons by mailed questionnaire and reviewed the literature. Forty-one new cases of women with large bowel cancer who presented during pregnancy or the immediate postpartum period were identified. The mean age at presentation was 31 years (range, 16-41 years). Tumor distribution was as follows: right colon-3, transverse colon-2, left colon-2, sigmoid colon-8, and rectum-26. Dukes stage at presentation was A=0, B=16, C=17, and D=6 (two patients were unstaged). Average follow-up was 41 months. Stage for stage, survival was found to be similar to patients with colorectal tumors in the general population. Large bowel cancer coexistent with pregnancy presents in a distal distribution (64 percent of tumors in the current series and 86 percent of those reported in the literature were located in the rectum) and presents at an advanced stage (60 percent were Stage C or more advanced at the time of diagnosis). While patient survival is poor, it is no different stage for stage from the general population with colorectal tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the Colon & Rectum
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993


  • Colon cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Rectal cancer


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