Colon cancer care at Mayo Clinic

For decades, Mayo Clinic has been a world leader in providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for patients with cancers of the colon and rectum.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

Gastroenterologists, colon and rectal surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists work as a multidisciplinary team to treat colon cancer. Other doctors, such as those trained in medical genetics, general surgery, gynecologic surgery or urologic surgery, are included as needed.

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
  • Dietitians
  • 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 colorectal cancer using a next-generation sequencing approach and screening all patients for potential immunotherapy options are standard parts of 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

Researchers based at Mayo Clinic led the first-ever clinical trial of chemotherapy administered after colon cancer surgery (adjuvant therapy) to reduce the risk of recurring disease. The North Central Cancer Treatment Group, based at Mayo Clinic and administered by medical oncologists at the clinic, has contributed greatly to the advancement of clinical care standards in early stage and advanced colorectal 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.

The colorectal surgery practice at Mayo Clinic has particular expertise in procedures that help avoid the need for a colostomy and that preserve the nearby nerves that are essential for normal bowel, bladder and sexual function.

  • Minimally invasive surgery. During minimally invasive (laparoscopic) 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 rectum and colon. Today, volumes of laparoscopic procedures for colon and rectal cancer at Mayo Clinic are among the highest in the world.
  • 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. Mayo Clinic's robotic center for colorectal surgery is among the largest in the world. 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. One of the newest radiation therapies available at Mayo Clinic in the Minnesota and Arizona locations, proton beam therapy can benefit children, young adults, and those with cancers located close to critical organs and body structures. Mayo Clinic's Proton Beam Therapy Program features intensity-modulated proton beam therapy with pencil beam scanning allowing Mayo radiation oncologists to destroy cancer while sparing healthy tissue.

Experience and expertise

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic doctors care for more than 3,000 people with colon cancer each year.

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 also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for digestive disorders.

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.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic doctors are highly respected for their expertise in diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. Mayo Clinic doctors care for more than 3,000 people with colon cancer each year.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic's Division of Colorectal Surgery has been accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer since 1970. The Division of Radiation Oncology at Mayo Clinic is accredited by the American College of Radiology.

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 also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for digestive disorders.

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.