Colorectal Cancer Program
Focused expertise offers better outcomes
For patients with colorectal cancer, survival is the primary concern. But other factors — such as avoiding a colostomy – can be vitally important.
Patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer — including colon cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer and cancer of the small bowel or appendix — should be sure they’ve explored all of their options before undergoing treatment that may be too severe or inappropriate for their condition.
Seeing a colorectal cancer specialist is an important first step.
Physicians who concentrate solely on colorectal cancers can make a big difference for patients — in recovery, cure rates and quality of life.
The Colorectal Cancer Program at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin is made up of an interdisciplinary team of physicians – colorectal surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, interventional radiologists and more – with specialized expertise in cancers of the colon, rectum and anus.
As a team, we are committed to providing outstanding, compassionate patient care.
Interdisciplinary, Specialized Care Saves Lives Teams of specialists from different disciplines working together are the key to better cancer care. Medical College of Wisconsin physicians in the Colorectal Cancer Program at our Clinical Cancer Center care exclusively for patients with colorectal cancer. This focus on a small range of diseases allows our physicians to stay in touch with the most advanced treatment techniques and help shape future advancements through research. For example, our colorectal surgeons are experienced in sphincter-sparing techniques, and strive to avoid permanent colostomy for rectal cancer patients whenever possible.
Tumor Boards Lead to Better CareOur Colorectal Cancer Program makes use of tumor boards — weekly meetings of all of the physicians and clinical staff involved in the spectrum of colorectal cancer care, including: colorectal surgeons, surgical oncologists, surgeons who focus on hepatobiliary disease, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, vascular and interventional radiologists, pathologists, gastroenterologists, genetics counselors, nursing staff and others. Together, these specialists review and discuss complex cases. The goal is to develop a treatment plan based on the best options for each patient, with input from every specialty. Our cancer specialists are all under one roof, making coordinated, comprehensive care even easier.
The Academic DifferenceA physician who chooses to practice at an academic medical center has a certain dedication to innovation. The physicians of the Colorectal Cancer Program are committed to the most optimal patient care and to developing future treatment advances. They teach other doctors across the country how to perform the latest techniques. For example, Medical College of Wisconsin colorectal surgeon Kirk Ludwig, MD, is an international authority in colorectal disease and helped develop national treatment guidelines for colon, rectal and anal cancers, as well as screening guidelines for colorectal cancers. In addition, he teaches laparoscopic techniques to doctors around the world. Our physicians are setting the standard of care for colorectal cancers.
Minimally Invasive Techniques and Specialized ExpertiseAs a patient, you want to be assured your physicians understand accepted standards of care and treatment guidelines for your diagnosis. The physicians in our Colorectal Cancer Program all have advanced (fellowship) training in their specialties and board certification. We follow and help advance accepted treatment guidelines for how best to treat colorectal cancers.
In addition to helping develop guidelines for standards of care and teaching extensively, our colorectal surgeons are skilled in minimally invasive techniques for treating several types of colorectal cancer. For example, some colorectal tumors can be removed using minimally invasive surgical techniques without the need for a permanent colostomy. These techniques have lower complication rates and allow patients to recover from surgery faster and with less pain.
Last Review Date: Aug. 15, 2013
Online Editor(s): Shannon Krause