Dana Hayden, MD – Rush University Medical Center

We see a really large spectrum of different
patients who have colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s or ulcerative
colitis, we see patients who have benign anorectal conditions like anal fistulas or fissures,
and we see patients with diverticulitis and also some inherited colorectal cancer syndromes
like Lynch syndrome or patients who have FAP [familial adenomatous polyposis]. Most patients end up likely requiring a surgery,
but there’s definitely some good, conservative and medical treatment options that we’ll
discuss with the patient. If it’s a colon cancer that hasn’t spread,
the chance of cure is extremely high — some patients may need chemotherapy after. If it is a rectal cancer, we have a multidisciplinary
approach — it involves radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons
and pathologists all to review and assess a patient’s case — it’s another type
of cancer that has a really good chance of cure. Some patients are so worried — that need
surgery — that they’re automatically going to have a colostomy bag and just become relieved
when I explain that even if we have to remove a large part of the rectum — for example
in a rectal cancer — we should still be able to reconnect and avoid having a permanent
colostomy. We have multiple techniques here available
and varying surgical approaches for pretty complicated diseases.

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