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.
- Innovative treatments for liver metastases. Mayo Clinic offers the latest treatments for colon cancer that spreads to the liver. This includes a hepatic artery infusion pump. The pump is a device that's placed inside your body during surgery. It helps your health care team to deliver chemotherapy medicines directly to your liver. Surgery to implant the pump can be done at the same time as surgery to remove the cancer from the colon or the liver. Giving medicine directly to the liver lets doctors use higher doses of chemotherapy. It can help people with liver metastases live longer.
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 Comprehensive 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, Minnesota, ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2022–2023 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, is ranked highly performing 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.