The objective of this study is to fill the knowledge gap by examining predictors of lymph node metastasis (LNM) in young patients, less than 45 years, using a national cancer registry. Methods: Patients diagnosed with T1 colorectal cancer were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry. In total, 692 patients with T1 colorectal cancer were identified. Most tumors occurred in white race (77.7%), between 40 and 44 years of age (49.4%), with grade III tumor differentiation (59.8%) and 1 to 1.9 cm size (32.2%), and were left-sided tumors (61.1%). The overall rate of LNM was 22.5% (n = 149). LNM was associated with tumor grade IV (undifferentiated) (odds ratio (OR) 2.94, CI: 1.06–8.12; p = 0.038), and increasing tumor size (1 cm–1.9 cm: OR 2.92, CI: 1.71–4.97, p < 0.001; 2.0 cm–2.9 cm: OR 2.00, CI: 1.05–3.77, p = 0.034; and ≥3.0 cm: OR 2.68, CI: 1.43–5.01, p = 0.002). Five-year cancer-specific survival for patients with LNM was 91% and for patients without LNM this was 98%. Adjusted cox proportion models showed that LNM was associated with a four times higher rate of mortality (hazard ratio (HR) 4.43, CI: 1.27–15.52, p = 0.020). In this population-based analysis of patients with T1 colorectal cancer, tumor size and grade were significant predictors of LNM.
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