Mayo Clinic has been taking care of patients with rectal cancer for more than 100 years, dating back to the Mayo brothers. Even at that time, doctors were innovative with their approach to the care of patients with rectal cancer. That continues today as Mayo Clinic offers the latest in minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Eric Dozois, a Mayo Clinic colon and rectal surgeon, explains some of the surgical treatment options being offered.
Watch: Dr. Eric Dozois discusses innovative treatments for rectal cancer.
Journalists: Broadcast-quality video is available in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: “Mayo Clinic News Network” Name super/CG: Eric Dozois, M.D./Colon and Rectal Surgery/Mayo Clinic.
Latest minimally invasive techniques
“We’re using laparoscopic and robotic platforms to really offer patients surgery that is most up to date in terms of minimally invasive techniques,” says Dr. Dozois.
These techniques ensure the least amount of trauma to the patient, while still achieving the goals of surgery to remove the cancer, lymph nodes, etc.
“What we’ve shown in our research is that these minimally invasive approaches have decreased complications from surgery. It shortens the length of stay and even reduces the cost of care,” says Dr. Dozois.
A Multidisciplinary approach
Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center’s approach to rectal cancer care is multidisciplinary.
“Every single patient that we take care of with rectal cancer is discussed by a group of physicians and surgeons — medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons — because the care of these patients may involve each of those different modalities,” says Dr. Dozois.
The care teams can offer individualized care to meet the needs of each patient.
“That’s really enhanced the care of patients with rectal cancer, because everybody brings their expertise to the discussion. We’re all there together. And we can have a good conversation and really tailor what’s best for the patient on all those different aspects,” he says.
Putting the needs of the patient first
When patients come in for rectal cancer treatment, Dr. Dozois says one of the main concerns patients have is ending up with a colostomy bag on the outside of their abdomen.
“Fortunately, we’ve been able to really develop strategies and approaches through radiation therapy and medical therapy as well as surgery to not only improve their survival, but also to avoid having to have this colostomy bag on the outside,” says Dr. Dozois.
He says listening to a patient’s concerns and understanding a patient’s perspective is an important part of cancer treatment.
“We have a lot of treatment that we can offer. But there are side effects of treatment, there are complications. And so it’s really important to have this sort of shared decision-making when it comes to the care of cancer,” says Dr. Dozois.
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