The risk of lymph-node metastasis (LNM) in T1 colorectal cancer (CRC) has not been well documented in heterogeneous Western populations. This study investigated the predictors of LNM and the long-term outcomes of patients by analysing T1 CRC surgical specimens and patients’ demographic data.


Patients with surgically resected T1 CRC between 2004 and 2014 were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Patients with multiple primary cancers, with neoadjuvant therapy, or without a confirmed histopathological diagnosis were excluded. Multivariate logistic-regression analysis was used to identify the predictors of LNM.


Of the 22,319 patients, 10.6% had a positive lymph-node status based on the final pathology (nodal category: N1 9.6%, N2 1.0%). Younger age, female sex, Asian or African-American ethnicity, poor differentiation, and tumor site outside the rectum were significantly associated with LNM. Subgroup analyses for patients stratified by tumor site suggested that the rate of positive lymph-node status was the lowest in the rectum (hazard ratio: 0.74; 95% confidence interval: 0.63–0.86).


The risk of LNM was potentially lower in Caucasian patients than in API or African-American patients with surgically resected T1 CRC. Regarding the T1 CRC site, the rectum was associated with a lower risk of LNM.

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