The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) blood test is included in most colorectal cancer follow up protocols, despite little clear evidence for its cost-effectiveness and survival benefit. In this study, patients’ views were sought on the use of the CEA blood test in their follow up. Strong associations were found between the age of a patient’s children and their concern about cancer recurrence and between concern about recurrence and anxiety about CEA test results (p<0.0001). Many patients expressed a desire for prognostic information, however uncertain or poor. Patients’ views should be sought when designing colorectal cancer follow up protocols to ensure their needs are adequately addressed.
- colorectal cancer
- follow up
- carcinoembryonic antigen
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Competing interests: None to declare.
Ethical approval: This study was approved by a local research ethics committee.
Contributors: NS and MM designed the study, piloted the questionnaire and wrote the manuscript. RH and GK recruited patients and collected data.