Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor of the large intestine. Unlike benign tumors, malignant
tumors can invade surrounding organs and spread to other regions of the body through the lymphatic
system or bloodstream.
Over 150,000 Americans are diagnosed every year with colorectal cancer. Over 90% of the patients are
over age 40, at which point the risk doubles every ten years. Other high risk factors include a
family history of colorectal cancer or colon polyps, the presence of ulcerative colitis, a history
of uterine, ovarian or breast cancer.
Blood in stool
The more common signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer are:
Procedures that detect colorectal cancer include a digital rectal exam, x-ray with barium
enema, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and fecal occult blood test.
The majority of colorectal cancers are treated by colorectal surgery . The goal of colorectal cancer surgery is to remove the colon cancer and the adjacent lymph nodes which may contain microscopic tumor cells. The lymph nodes lie adjacent to the blood vessels. All of our operations are standardized to include the lymph nodes draining the section of colon being removed. We typically remove the pericolonic lymph nodes (red and purple) as well as the highest lymph nodes or N4 regional lymph nodes (green) to maximize the likelihood of cure.
Dr. Blumberg’s technique differs from the usual laparoscopic colorectal surgery technique called laparoscopic-assisted colectomy whereby the surgeon performs only part of the operation laparoscopically. In Dr. Blumberg’s technique, the entire operation is performed laparoscopically including the colon removal surgery and the reconstruction or anastomosis of the colon.
Dr. Blumberg has extensive experience removing cancers of both the colon and rectum via a completely laparoscopic
References: Blumberg D and Ramanathan RK. Treatment of Colon and Rectal Cancer. J Clin
Gastroenterol, 2002; 34: 15-26.