HealthDay News — Use of chemoradiation followed by surgery among rectal cancer patients rose from 42.9% in 2004-2006, to 50% in 2007-2009, and to 55% in 2010-2012 in the United States, according to a report published online April 13 in Cancer.

While the increase is positive, nearly half of patients with locally advanced rectal cancer still do not receive the standard therapy as recommended by national guidelines, the study authors said.

The investigators identified several factors associated with a lower chance of patients receiving the treatment: lack of private insurance; being treated at a facility with a low or medium volume of such cases; being non-white; and living in a neighborhood with low levels of education.

“Unfortunately, with only 55% of U.S. patients with locally advanced rectal cancer receiving the standard of treatment in recent years, one must address the gap between the guidelines and the variable penetrance into routine clinical practice,” the authors write.

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