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Few hospitals meet colon cancer care standard

AP/Yahoo News, September 10, 2008

Nearly two-thirds of hospitals fail to check colon cancer patients well enough for signs that their tumor is spreading, according to a study by Northwestern University researchers that advises patients to ask about this mark of quality care before surgery. National guidelines say when colon cancer is removed, doctors should check at least 12 lymph nodes for signs of spread, and checking fewer than 12 isn't considered enough to be sure the cancer is contained. But the study of nearly 1,300 hospitals found that overall, just 38% fully comply with the guidelines.