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Colon, Rectal and Anal Cancer

Ochsner's colorectal surgeons specialize in the surgical removal of malignancies of the colon, rectum and anus. They offer a full range of surgical options and are nationally recognized authorities on anal and perianal tumors. When possible, our colorectal surgeons can perform sphincter-saving surgery for low rectal cancer. In some other cases, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are given before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor. Using a multi-disciplinary team approach, Ochsner's colorectal surgeons participate in chemotherapy protocols with our medical oncology team. They also participate in other research studies, such as ongoing clinical trials for colon cancer to investigate the use of ultrasound-guided surgery for colorectal malignancies.

The Ochsner Cancer Institute is at the forefront of colon cancer and rectal cancer prevention through patient screening, education, detection and treatment. Colorectal cancer, in particular, can be prevented through regular examinations to detect and remove premalignant polyps. This is good news for patients; if colon cancer is diagnosed in its early stages, the latest medical and surgical treatments offer a good chance for a cure. In fact, colon polyps and cancer prevention are one of our major research interests. We have several randomized clinical trials on chemo-prevention for colorectal polyps and cancer-in progress.

Furthermore, newer procedures, such as CT colongraphy, also known as virtual colonoscopy, are under evaluation by physicians in the in the endoscopy center and the Radiology Department. In addition, innovative multi-disciplinary therapies allow many patients to be cured of their rectal cancer while preserving anal muscles and avoiding a permanent colostomy. Collaboration with radiation and medical oncologists has allowed most rectal cancer patients to receive sphincter-saving procedures such as ultra-low anterior resections or colanal pull-throughs. To improve postoperative function, colonic pouches or coloplasty techniques are routinely performed.

Additional information about colon cancer or an appointment with one of our surgeons is available at:

Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery - 504-842-4060