Trends in colorectal cancer survival following the 2-week rule

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The 2-week rule has reduced waiting times for a specialist opinion among patients with a suspected malignancy. We aimed at assessing the effect of this rule on colorectal cancer survival.


Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer before (group 1) and after (group 2) the introduction of the 2-week rule were identified from a prospective database. Emergency patients were excluded. Overall 2-year survival for each group was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method and compared using the log-rank test.


Waiting times fell from 26 to 21 days (P =0.22). There was no significant difference in 2-year survival between the groups (hazard ratio 1.1; P = 0.56). There was a slight divergence between the survival curves at 2 years.


There has been no improvement in 2-year survival from colorectal cancer following the introduction of the 2-week rule.

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