Cancers of the colon and rectum are among the most common in the United States, diagnosed in more than 135,000 people each year.
The treatment of colorectal cancer can vary from surgical removal of a small early-stage tumor to more intensive treatment of cancer that has spread to the liver or other organs. At John Theurer Cancer Center, part of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, a multidisciplinary team of colorectal cancer specialists forms the foundation of a comprehensive program that provides advanced treatments and support for people with this disease, with the goal of curing the cancer while maintaining optimal quality of life.
Endoscopic Evaluation and Treatment of Rectal Cancers
Some patients with superficial rectal cancer (mucosal and submucosal lesions) can have the tumor removed through an endoscope. If a suspicious lesion is found during colonoscopy and a biopsy indicates it is cancerous, our interventional endoscopists use endoscopic ultrasound—the insertion of a scope into the rectum and the use of high-energy sound waves—to evaluate the depth of the lesion’s growth into the rectal wall. If the cancer has not grown too deeply, the endoscopist can remove it through the scope, guided by a camera at its tip, and suture the remaining tissue. This approach enables some patients with rectal cancer to avoid surgery and the need for a colostomy (a bag worn outside the abdomen to collect waste). This technique demonstrates our commitment to conserving our patients’ quality of life as much as possible.
Specialized Care for People with Colorectal Cancer Metastases
When colorectal cancer spreads outside of the large intestine, it often travels to the liver, presenting a special treatment challenge. The experts at John Theurer Cancer Center offer advanced therapies for colorectal cancer metastases, such as:
- Interventional radiology treatments: Patients may receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or intense heat delivered directly into tumors through arteries supplying the liver. Examples include radioembolization with yttrium-90, chemoembolization (in which anticancer medication is delivered directly to tumor cells), and radiofrequency ablation (killing tumors cells with intense heat). Our interventional radiologists are highly experienced performing these procedures.
- Radiation therapy: We offer stereotactic body radiation therapy for people with metastatic colorectal cancer. Given in just a few sessions, high doses of radiation are delivered extremely precisely and carefully to specific targets. This is made possible by high-tech advances in radiation therapy delivery systems, computerized planning, patient positioning, and image guidance.
Our Colorectal Cancer Specialists:
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The Research Division consolidates the basic and translational research and clinical trials that are conducted at John Theurer Cancer Center and the David Joseph Jurist Research Center for Tomorrows Children.
Located just seven miles west of New York City in Bergen County, NJ, we are easily accessible via public transportation. Additional locations in the greater New York metropolitan area can be found at Palisades Medical Center and in Franklin Lakes.