Ethnicity Influences Lymph Node Resection in Colon Cancer

Molly M. Cone, Kelsea M. Shoop, Jennifer D. Rea, Kim C. Lu, Daniel O. Herzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to determine the association between ethnicity and lymph node retrieval after colon cancer resection. Using the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database, patients who underwent colon cancer resection from 2000-2003 were evaluated. Subjects were classified as having <12 (N = 20,605) or ≥12 (N = 12,358) lymph nodes examined. Multivariate models were used to analyze the relationship between lymph nodes resected and independent variables. Out of a total of 32,936 patients, 62.5% had fewer than 12 lymph nodes resected. In multivariate analysis, Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a significantly lower chance of having ≥12 lymph nodes than the Caucasian population (OR = 0.61; CI, 0.50-0.74). Despite this, there was no understaging: the proportion of stage II and III diagnoses was the same. Both groups received the same rate of cancer-directed surgery and survival was equivalent. During this study period, a majority of colon cancer resections were inadequate based on the current standard of ≥12 nodes. Hispanic patients were less likely to have an adequate node resection when compared to Caucasians. Despite fewer lymph nodes harvested, they had equivalent staging and survival. These results suggest that ethnicity influences the lymph node count.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1752-1757
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010


  • Colon cancer
  • Ethnicity
  • Lymph node

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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