Resection for Colon Tumors/Cancer

Most patients with colon or rectal cancer will require a colectomy to remove the portion of bowel affected by the tumor. Patients with rectal cancer traditionally were treated with complete removal of the rectum and creation of a permanent colostomy. The surgeons at Virginia Mason offer procedures that save the anal sphincter and avoid the need for a colostomy. These procedures involve the creation of a "J-pouch" or neo-rectum that improves fecal continence and bowel function. To minimize incisions and reduce recovery time, minimally invasive or laparoscopic surgery can be performed for this condition.

Most patients will need sophisticated imaging studies to "stage" their disease and to confirm, cure or detect recurrence at the earliest possible time. Most patients will also need additional treatment such as radiation and/or chemotherapy. The Floyd & Delores Jones Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason offers efficient, expert, coordinated care between surgeons, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, genetic counselors and social workers. Access to this care is facilitated by a dedicated gastrointestinal-cancer nurse coordinator. Patients also benefit from weekly gastrointestinal-cancer conferences, during which individual cases are discussed by a multidisciplinary team. This coordinated care leads to survival outcomes at Virginia Mason that are superior to those published by the National Cancer Database. See the Relevant Publications section for references.