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Colon & Rectal Cancer

Our Regional Cancer Network offers the skills and technology found in the most advanced cancer hospitals in the nation right here on Cape Cod. And you’ll benefit from the extra support that comes from receiving treatment close to home.

Cape Cod Healthcare is a member of the Consortium for Optimizing the Surgical Treatment of Rectal Cancer (OSTRiCh). OSTRiCh is a group of more than 100 healthcare institutions that are committed to improving the quality of rectal cancer care in the U.S through advocacy, education and research. The Consortium is currently partnering with the American College of Surgeons and its Commission on Cancer to create a nationwide Centers of Excellence program for patients with rectal cancer.

Spearheading the initiative at Cape Cod Healthcare are Surgeons Peter Hopewood, MD, at Falmouth Hospital and Liam Haveran, DO, at Cape Cod Hospital.

Prevention & Early Detection

doctor Haveran with patient

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Screening tests, such as colonoscopy, are highly effective in finding precancerous polyps and detecting cancer in its earliest stages when treatment works best. Learn about the colorectal screening options available to you.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

There are often no symptoms of colorectal cancer until the cancer is advanced. That’s why regular screening is so important. Common symptoms of colorectal cancer include:

  • Change in bowel habits
  • Blood, either bright red or black and tarry, in the stool
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • Diarrhea, constipation or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
  • General abdominal discomfort, such as frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness and/or cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constant feeling of fatigue or tiredness

How Colorectal Cancer is Diagnosed

If screening reveals the possibility of cancer, tissue is removed from the colon or rectum for biopsy. If cancer is confirmed, additional tests will be done to determine the cancer’s stage.

How Colorectal Cancer is Treated

We bring together a diverse team of specialists from medical oncology, radiation oncology, surgery, radiology, pathology, nursing and social work to collaborate on your care. Experts from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Partners HealthCare are regularly consulted for second opinions and care consultations.

Treatment will be tailored to your specific situation and may involve:

Support Services

As you navigate cancer, you’re not alone. Cape Cod Healthcare offers a full range of support and survivorship services.

Learn More

Find in-depth information about colorectal cancer in our online Health Library.

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