Colon cancer care at Mayo Clinic
For decades, Mayo Clinic has been a world leader in providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for people with cancers of the colon and rectum.
Your Mayo Clinic care team
Mayo Clinic doctors work in multidisciplinary teams of specialists to provide comprehensive care for people with colon cancer. Your care team might include:
Other health professionals also play an important role in your care. These experts may include:
- Cancer education specialists
- Nurses specially trained to work with cancer patients
- Social workers
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
Members of your care team spend time getting to know you, so they understand what's important to you. The result is a treatment plan that puts you — a unique individual — at the center of all the care you receive.
Your personal physician at Mayo Clinic will work with you to review your treatment options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with colon and rectal cancer includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy and a variety of operations, including minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery.
Molecular profiling of tumors using a next-generation sequencing approach and screening all for potential immunotherapy options are standard parts of colon cancer care at Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic also offers palliative care services to help you manage the side effects of cancer treatment, as well as symptoms of cancer itself. Cancer survivorship clinics are available after cancer treatment ends. A cancer survivorship clinic may help you cope with the physical and emotional changes that sometimes appear after cancer treatment.
Advanced diagnosis and treatment
Mayo Clinic doctors and scientists have been at the forefront of colon cancer research for many years. They use knowledge and experience gained in research to improve care for people with colon cancer.
Similarly, the colon and rectal surgeons at Mayo Clinic draw on decades of cumulative experience treating colon cancer in a high-volume practice. They specialize in removal (resection) of complex tumors affecting multiple organs and structures in the abdomen and pelvis.
Mayo Clinic doctors have access to the latest treatment techniques, including:
- Minimally invasive surgery. During minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopic surgery) for colon cancer surgery, several small incisions are made in your abdomen. Special tools and a camera are inserted through the incisions and allow the surgeon to remove the rectal cancer without making one large incision. Colorectal surgeons at Mayo Clinic were among the earliest adopters of laparoscopic procedures for cancers of the colon and rectum. Today, colon cancer operations are performed using a minimally invasive approach when possible.
- Robotic surgery. During robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console and uses controls to guide high-tech surgical tools. Robotic surgery has the advantage of allowing the surgeon to work more easily in small spaces and gives the surgeon an enhanced view of the area where the operation is taking place. At Mayo Clinic, the use of robotics has produced excellent outcomes in surgery for complex colorectal tumors involving multiple organs and structures in the pelvis.
- Proton beam therapy. Mayo Clinic offers this advanced form of radiation therapy at its locations in Arizona and Minnesota. Mayo Clinic's Proton Beam Therapy Program features intensity-modulated proton beam therapy with pencil beam scanning allowing radiation oncologists to destroy cancer while sparing healthy tissue.
- Optimized adjuvant therapy. Researchers at Mayo Clinic led the first clinical trial of chemotherapy administered after colon cancer surgery (adjuvant therapy) to reduce the risk of recurring disease. Mayo Clinic oncologists continue to study the best drug combinations and treatment lengths to optimize the effectiveness of adjuvant therapy and minimize the side effects. A recent study led by Mayo Clinic doctors found some people with colon cancer may consider a shorter course of adjuvant chemotherapy.
The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories
Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.
New Outlook, New Career Path After Beating Colon Cancer
In April 2018, Evan Beard received the shocking news that he had colon cancer. Evan's local doctor referred him to Mayo Clinic where a multidisciplinary team and the right combination of chemotherapy and surgery made it possible for the young father to beat his daunting diagnosis. In March 2018, 23-year-old Evan Beard had just celebrated [...]
Three Cancers, One Team Approach
When Donald Brotzman was diagnosed with three separate cancers at once, his Mayo Clinic care team crafted a comprehensive treatment plan that addressed all of Donald's medical concerns in a coordinated, compassionate way. It started with a cough and cold that wouldn't go away. "I just couldn't shake it," Donald Brotzman says. After weeks of [...]
Colon Cancer Treatment Provides More Time to Celebrate the Everyday
Diagnosed with advanced colon cancer, Amy Figgs was told there was little that could be done. Unwilling to accept that, Amy sought a second opinion at Mayo Clinic. There her care team crafted a treatment plan that has renewed her hope for the future. The day after her 45th birthday, Amy Figgs found herself in [...]
Successful Cancer Treatment Leads to a New Career
After lengthy treatment for metastatic colon cancer, not only did Don Guillot emerge with the disease in remission, he also came away inspired to pursue a future in nursing. The coming year is going to be an exciting one for Don Guillot. In 2018, he's getting married, and he's graduating from nursing school as an [...]
'Blessed With Life,' Cancer Survivor Vows to Live to the Fullest
Jane Thomson endured chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to treat cancer once in 2011 and again in 2014. She reflects on the experience with gratitude for her Mayo Clinic care team while anticipating a promising future. Written by Jane Thomson My name is Jane Thomson. I am 58 years old, have been married for 35 years, [...]
Minimally Invasive Polyp Removal Helps Prevent Colon Cancer
For years, Rosa Isern has thoroughly enjoyed her job with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, where soldiers, airmen and their families purchase goods and services. Her work has taken her around the world on several tours overseas, including stints in Iraq, Afghanistan, Greenland and Djibouti. In 2015, however, Rosa's future became uncertain when [...]
Expertise and rankings
Mayo Clinic doctors have the knowledge and resources to provide comprehensive care for those with colon cancer. At Mayo Clinic, you can expect:
- Personalized care. At Mayo Clinic, gastroenterologists, colon and rectal surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists work as a team to make sure all of your individual needs are addressed in your care plan. Other experts are included as needed.
- Experience you can trust. Mayo Clinic doctors are highly respected for their expertise in diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. Mayo Clinic doctors care for more than 3,500 people with colon cancer each year.
- Nationally recognized expertise. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognize scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.
Locations, travel and lodging
Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.
For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:
Costs and insurance
Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.
In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.
Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.
Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.