High-Tech Help for Rectal Cancer
Rectal cancer is uniquely challenging.
- Affects just the last 6-8 inches of the digestive system.
- Location and presence of vital organs makes surgery uniquely challenging.
- Advancements in treatment give hope to patients whose cancer would once have been untreatable.
5-year survival rates have increased 40% thanks to innovative treatments.
Relative survival by year of diagnosis (source: Seer.Cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014).
Innovations continue to improve treatment.
Intraoperative Radiation Therapy
- Delivers a single, high dose of radiation directly to the tumor site during surgery.
- Careful placement of radiation shields protects nearby organs from radiation damage.
- Used primarily for tumors that are large or have recurred after surgery.
- Reduces risk of cancer recurrence.
- Surgery performed while surgeon sits at a console and uses controls to guide high tech surgical tools.
- Allows surgeons to work in small spaces with three-dimensional visualization, and with more precision, flexibility and control than with conventional techniques.
- Minimally invasive, fewer complications, quicker recovery, fewer urological complications and may reduce nerve dysfunction
Proton Beam Therapy
- Uses a highly targeted precision beam to deliver radiation to a tumor and reduce radiation to surrounding healthy tissue and organs.
- May reduce side effects for patients.
- Especially useful for patients who have previously received radiation to the pelvis.
Improving quality of life post-surgery.
- Procedure that connects portions of the intestine after the removal of the rectum.
- Helps avoid a permanent colostomy.
- Offers patients a more normal life after surgery.
- A cutting-edge, minimally invasive procedure.
- Replaces the rectum in patients with hereditary rectal cancers and rectal cancer in association with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Intestinal continuity is maintained leading to minimal changes to lifestyle and quality of life.
Sources: MayoClinic.org; Seer.Cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014; Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.gov; RoboticOncology.com.