Previously, the standard treatment of colon cancer often involved the
surgical removal of all or part of the colon. This necessitated a
colostomy, which is a surgical procedure that creates an opening through
the wall of the abdomen to provide a new path for waste material to
leave the body.
In recent years, Jefferson physicians have been national
leaders in developing more advanced and less drastic treatment
alternatives for colon cancer patients for whom colostomy had been their
only option. Our surgeons have successfully used preoperative radiation
therapy and innovative surgical techniques to help retain the natural
function of the muscles that control bowel movements, thereby
dramatically reducing the need for colostomy.
If you have colorectal cancer, physicians of the Jefferson Colon
and Rectal Cancer Center are experienced in performing minimally
invasive laparoscopic surgery, which can reduce postsurgery pain,
scarring, hospital stays and recovery time. A program utilizing
high-dose preoperative radiation and sophisticated
sphincter-preservation surgical techniques has been in place since 1976
and continues to offer new promise for patients with rectal cancer.
Among the state-of-the-art colorectal cancer treatments our
physicians are using is an innovative technique called interstitial
chemotherapy, which entails the insertion of chemotherapy-soaked wafers
directly into the cavity left after the removal of cancerous tissue.
Patients with high risk for colon cancer are treated with a
multidisciplinary team approach. This group includes patients
with chronic inflammatory bowel disease being screened for
dysplasia, a family history of colorectal cancer and inherited
colon cancer syndromes such as familial adematous
polyposis (FAP), hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer
(HNPCC) and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. These patients
need intensive screening for multiple neoplasms in addition
to colorectal cancer.