Expert Point of View: Patrick S. Sullivan, MD


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We need to compare causes of death long term vs the population. Where there are differences, we need to ask why and determine if the treatment we give affects long-term survival.
— Patrick S. Sullivan, MD

”This was a great study and novel, asking what longer-term survivors with colon cancer are dying from—the toxicity of our treatment or population-risk illnesses?” commented session co-moderator, Patrick S. Sullivan, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Chief Quality Officer, Division of Surgical Oncology, Winship Cancer Institute, and Department of Surgery, Emory University Colon and Rectal Surgery, in Atlanta, Georgia.

“The results show that early on, patients are dying from their colon cancer, but long term, patients are dying from cardiovascular disease, secondary malignancies, etcetera,” he summarized. “This is critical to know that we can risk-reduce the possible cause of death going forward.”

“These findings are very thought provoking,” Dr. Sullivan concluded. “We need to compare causes of death long term vs the population. Where there are differences, we need to ask why and determine if the treatment we give affects long-term survival.” ■

Disclosure: Dr. Sullivan reported no conflicts of interest.


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