Background: The precise incidence rates of multiple primary colorectal cancers in esophageal cancer patients are unknown. Methods: In total, 480 consecutive patients with esophageal cancers surgically resected in the Kumamoto University Hospital received preoperative total colonoscopy for the assessment of colorectal disease between April 2005 and February 2016. We retrospectively investigated the occurrence of synchronous colorectal cancer with esophageal cancer. In addition, we examined the risk factors for the incidence of multiple primary colorectal cancers. Results: Of the 480 patients, 14 (2.9 %) had synchronous colorectal cancers, 13 had well-differentiated tubular adenocarcinomas, and 1 had papillary adenocarcinoma. Other 14 patients had metachronous colorectal cancer. The current incidence rates of synchronous and total (both synchronous and metachronous) colorectal cancers outnumbered those in normal healthy population and those in esophageal cancer patients which previously reported by The Japan Esophageal Society. The age ≥70 years (hazard ratio 4.82, 95 % confidence interval 1.473–15.78; p = 0.009) and Brinkman index ≥800 (hazard ratio 3.47, 95 % confidence interval 1.056–11.37; p = 0.040) were the independent risk factors for the incidence of synchronous colorectal cancer. They were also the independent risk factors for the incidence of total colorectal cancer. Conclusions: The results of the present study suggested that pretreatment screening with total colonoscopy is meaningful for patients with esophageal cancer, because the frequency of synchronous colorectal cancer was not negligible. Particularly, in patients >70 years and with history of heavy smoking, pretreatment colonoscopy might be necessary.
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