Colorectal Cancer Care in NJ | Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center   

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed each year in the United States, behind breast and lung cancer. Our team of colorectal cancer specialists provide the most advanced approaches – including robotic surgery and clinical trials of the latest treatments. Our goal is to cure your colorectal cancer and minimize side effects to help you maintain an optimal quality of life.

Types of Colorectal Cancer We Treat

Adenocarcinoma, is found in the glands that make mucus and lubricate the lining of the intestine. The most common type of colon cancer, adenocarcinoma starts as a benign polyp that, left untreated, becomes cancer.

Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors form in neuroendocrine cells which act as nerve cells and also regulate hormone production in the intestine.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) forms in the interstitial cells of Cajal in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. They are rare in the colon and rectum.

Metastatic colorectal cancer occurs when cancer cells break free from the colon or rectum and spread to other areas of the body through the circulatory or lymph system.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

The American Cancer Society recommends you begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 45, or earlier if you have symptoms, a family history or other risk factors. Your doctor may order a test to look for blood in your stool, or a colonoscopy to view the inside of the rectum and colon. Take Our Colon Cancer Risk Assessment

Learn more about colonoscopies at Hackensack Meridian Health.

Colorectal Cancer Screening - Patient Videos

Surgical Options for Colorectal Cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, we offer the most advanced treatments and surgical technologies, including robotic surgery and minimally invasive surgery. Our team of experts are fellowship-trained colon and rectal surgeons who are highly experienced in complex procedures.

The colorectal surgeons at John Theurer Cancer Center use minimally invasive approaches to remove colorectal tumors. Our surgeons perform several types of minimally invasive surgeries using the da Vinci Xi® Surgical System, including colectomy, rectal resection and tumor removal. For you, this means smaller incisions, less discomfort after surgery, and a faster return to your normal activities.

Sometimes patients are not able to have robotic surgery, because of the location or spread of their colorectal cancer. The colorectal surgeons at John Theurer Cancer Center are skilled at performing open surgical procedures as well as reconstruction of the large intestine to prevent the need for a permanent ostomy (an external bag to collect wastes) whenever possible.

Our colorectal surgeons have years of advanced training and experience in all surgical approaches.

Some patients with cancer on the surface of the rectal wall can have the tumor removed through an endoscope. The doctor can remove the cancer through a 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.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Colorectal Cancer

We analyze your colorectal tumor to identify genetic mutations and the molecular signals driving its growth. This “precision medicine” approach means you receive combinations of chemotherapy and targeted therapies that attack your specific kind of cancer.
If you have a genetically mutated colorectal cancer, you may be eligible for immunotherapy, which boosts your immune system to find and destroy cancer cells.

Radiation therapy is an important part of treatment for many patients with colorectal cancer. John Theurer Cancer Center provides the most advanced radiation therapy using state-of-the-art technology. You receive radiation that is precisely shaped to your tumor, to spare surrounding, healthy tissue and minimize side effects. Learn about precision radiation therapy.

Clinical trials offer hope if your colorectal cancer does not respond to initial treatment, returns or has metastasized. John Theurer Cancer Center conducts more clinical trials than any other cancer center in New Jersey. We have a dedicated Phase I clinical trials program, which means you have access to new, innovative treatments before they become more widely available.

If colorectal cancer spreads beyond the large intestine, it often travels to the liver and can be difficult to treat. The experts at John Theurer Cancer Center offer advanced therapies for colorectal cancer metastases.

  • Interventional radiology treatments: Treatment is delivered directly into tumors through arteries supplying the liver. Examples include radioembolization with yttrium-90, chemoembolization (anticancer medication delivered directly to tumor cells) and radiofrequency ablation (killing tumors with intense heat).
  • Radiation therapy: We offer stereotactic body radiation therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer. High doses of radiation are delivered with extreme precision.

Patient Centered Care

At John Theurer Cancer Center Hackensack Meridian Health, we prioritize the well-being and comfort of our patients throughout their colorectal cancer journey. We understand the physical and emotional challenges that accompany a cancer diagnosis, and our compassionate team is here to provide support every step of the way. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship, we offer a range of supportive services, including nutritional counseling, pain management, rehabilitation, and access to clinical trials. Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for our patients and their families.
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