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Colorectal Cancer Treatment at UPMC in Central Pa.

If you have colorectal cancer, UPMC's colon and rectal specialists in Central Pa. will work as part of a multidisciplinary team to create your personalized treatment plan.

Why choose UPMC for your colorectal cancer treatment?

At UPMC in Central Pa., we take a team approach to colorectal cancer care. Our specialists will work closely with your family doctor, gastroenterologist, and other medical specialists — including surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, and radiation and medical oncologists – to develop your personalized treatment plan.

Our surgeons provide expert surgical care using the latest open, laparoscopic, and robotic techniques. Whenever possible, we perform minimally invasive procedures to shorten your recovery time, reduce pain, and provide the best possible outcome.

What types of colorectal cancer treatments are available?

Surgery is often the main form of treatment for colorectal cancer. However, your treatment plan may also include radiation, chemotherapy, or other forms of treatment. Your multidisciplinary colorectal cancer care team will develop a treatment plan for your specific condition.

Our board-certified colon and rectal surgeons are skilled in open, laparoscopic, and robotic surgical techniques. Whenever possible, we use sphincter-preserving techniques and other approaches that preserve natural bowel function. And, our surgeons will use minimally invasive techniques to shorten your recovery time, decrease pain, and improve outcomes.

Surgical procedures to treat colon and rectal cancer include:

  • Colectomy. A colectomy removes all or part of your colon. Colectomies can be performed using traditional open techniques or laparoscopically using tiny instruments inserted into several small incisions in your abdomen. If necessary, your doctor may also perform a colostomy or an ileostomy, which reroutes stool through a stoma, or an opening in your abdomen, where it is collected in a bag.
  • Local excision. A local excision can be performed during a colonoscopy and removes small cancers in the lining of your colon, as well as a small amount of healthy surrounding tissue.
  • Local transanal resection. A local transanal resection is used to treat early-stage rectal cancers and is performed using small instruments that are inserted through your anus. This procedure does not require incisions in your abdomen.
  • Low anterior resection (LAR). During a LAR, your doctor will remove the part of your rectum that contains the tumor and will reattach your colon to the remaining part of your rectum.
  • Polypectomy. A polypectomy is performed during a colonoscopy. Your doctor will remove abnormal cells that have grown into a polyp by cutting the growth off the wall of your colon.
  • Proctectomy. A proctectomy is a procedure to remove your entire rectum. Your surgeon may also perform a procedure called a colo-anal anastomosis, which connects your colon to your anus.
  • Transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS). TAMIS treats early-stage rectal cancers using a specially designed scope that is inserted into your anus.

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