Colorectal cancer can cause symptoms such as rectal bleeding and abdominal pain or may start painlessly as small growths you may not know you have. That's why a comprehensive program of colorectal care is so important: one focused on identifying the causes of troublesome symptoms and offering screening to find small colorectal cancers in their early, most curable stages.
At NewYork-Presbyterian, our colorectal cancer specialists treat people with all stages of colorectal cancer, with special expertise in the care of those with stage 2, stage 3, and stage 4 disease. We offer the full spectrum of colorectal cancer care, from diagnosis through treatment and survival.
NewYork-Presbyterian has an international reputation for superior care, with thousands of patients traveling to us from across the country and around the world to receive care from our renowned team of colorectal specialists.
Our Comprehensive Team of Experts
Our colorectal cancer surgeons, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other specialists are known for providing leading medical, surgical, and supportive care for people with colon and rectal cancers. We will put together a team of healthcare professionals to provide the care you need. When planning your treatment, our physicians consider the type, location, and stage of your cancer, as well as your age and physical health.
Some genetic syndromes are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer and can be passed on through multiple generations of a family. NewYork-Presbyterian offers genetic counseling to assess your risk and develop a screening and surveillance plan to manage your risk and the risk in your family members. One such program, the Clinical Hereditary GI Cancers Registry, identifies those at risk and then continues to review these cases to implement the most cutting-edge protocols and treatments as they are published in the medical literature.
Superior Surgical Care
Using laparoscopic, robotic, and open surgical approaches, our highly experienced surgeons can often maintain or restore continence when other centers cannot provide such options. Besides the standard surgical removal of colorectal cancers, our surgeons perform complex procedures. Some of these include:
- Intersphincteric proctectomy. The surgical removal of the rectum often needed to treat rectal cancer
- Colonic J-pouch is a procedure to create a pouch to replace surgically removed large intestines. The pouch is formed from the end of the small bowel attached to the anal canal. This forms a pathway for the passage of stool.
- Coloplasty, or surgery on the colon, is often used for colon cancer treatment.
- Minimally invasive colorectal surgery. We use minimally invasive surgery whenever appropriate — such as transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEMS) for rectal cancer — resulting in less postoperative pain, smaller incisions, a shorter recovery, and a quicker return to your regular activities. We are pushing the minimally invasive surgical care boundaries through the Minimally Invasive New Technologies (MINT) program. One of MINT's leading initiatives is the endolumenal surgical platform, which stabilizes the colon using two balloons, allowing for increasingly complex procedures.
- Combined endoscopic-laparoscopic surgery (CELS). This technique is used in colorectal surgery to remove large, complex, or hard-to-reach polyps. The best treatment option for these types of polyps has been to remove the affected section of the colon completely. The combined use of endoscopy and laparoscopy in CELS allows for better visualization and surgical manipulation of the colon.
- Avoiding a permanent ostomy. Our surgeons can avoid a permanent ostomy in many situations using advanced surgical techniques when others may be unable.
The Latest Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapies
Chemotherapy for colorectal cancer often requires a combination of anticancer drugs. You may receive chemotherapy before surgery to shrink your tumor and after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. If you have advanced colorectal cancer, your treatment may also include targeted anticancer drugs, such as cetuximab or bevacizumab. Your doctor will tell you which medications are most effective for your stage and type of cancer.
- Heated abdominal chemotherapy. Called heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), this two-stage procedure brings together the expertise of our cancer surgeons and medical oncologists. First, the surgeon removes as much cancerous tissue as possible. Then heated chemotherapy is given into the abdomen — either during the surgery to remove the tumor or in a separate surgery afterward. Heating certain anticancer drugs increase their potency and improves their uptake by cancer cells, increasing their cancer-killing effects.
- Precise radiation therapy for rectal cancer. We use 3D imaging to shape and target high doses of radiation directly to your tumor, killing cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy tissue. You can receive radiation therapy in our state-of-the-art radiation oncology units.
- Empowering your immune system. Immunotherapies enhance the ability of the immune system to recognize, find, and attack cancer cells. Several immunotherapies used to treat other cancers are now being evaluated in clinical trials of people with colorectal cancer.
Our researchers are directing clinical trials evaluating novel treatment approaches for colorectal cancer. Your treatment team will inform you if you can receive an innovative investigational treatment by participating in a clinical trial.
Get Care From Our Team of Colorectal Cancer Experts
At NewYork-Presbyterian, we understand how scary it can be when you or a loved one are diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Here, we provide state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment to ensure that colorectal cancer is treated with the patient's best interest in mind.
We are helping people live longer, better lives after colorectal disease. Please call today to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists.