Our Gastrointestinal-Colorectal Center of Excellence offers patients extensive screening, diagnostic and treatment options for GI-Colorectal cancers. State-of-the-science technologies combined with extensive holistic support services helps patients in treatment for colorectal cancers. Using advanced scoping technologies and a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes patient comfort and respect, Memorial ensures that our patients receive the most advanced treatment options.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Using the endoscope—a thin, flexible viewing instrument—our specialists can check the upper and lower portions of the GI tract. Common treatments include the removal of polyps, measures to stop bleeding and biopsies of tissue for examination by a pathologist.
Regular colonoscopies—an internal examination of the colon—beginning at age 50 can prevent colon cancer in many cases. If cancer is identified, cases are reviewed during regularly scheduled tumor conferences in order to determine the best plan for treatment. You benefit from the experience of multiple medical disciplines and extensive expertise.
For other conditions, a procedure known as an ERCP can be done to examine the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreatic ducts. When a blockage occurs, such as gallstones, it can be cleared and a stent inserted to help prevent recurrence. Other endoscopy services include the bronchoscopy to examine lung tissue for cancer and other diseases, esophogeal and rectal mobility testing, and rectal ultrasound.
Surgeons at Memorial are utilizing superior imaging technology to perform minimally invasive (or laparoscopic) surgeries for the treatment of colorectal cancers. The latest fluoroscopy unit gives physicians excellent live views of the size, shape, movement and function of a patient’s internal organs. It also provides a high degree of flexibility for the patient’s comfort. Benefits to the patient include less pain, a smaller scar and a faster return to activities and normal colon function.
Exceptional imaging capabilities expand the possibilities for looking inside your body without surgery. Memorial offers 3T MRI technology, which uses a stronger magnet for better image quality. The use of endorectal ultrasound helps determine the extent of rectal cancers so that proper treatment can be determined. And for small intestine examinations, the Givens capsule, a pill with a camera inside that is swallowed, allows testing to be done while the patient is awake and mobile.
Nurse Navigator Program
Upon diagnosis, patients may choose to be paired with a nurse in our navigator program. This nurse will navigate the patient through treatment; providing education; acting as a liaison between patient and doctor when questions arise; offering resources for economic support; and providing comfort and assistance all the way through the discharge and recovery phase.
In addition, every patient receives a “Ray of Hope Notebook” that provides a wide variety of educational information, including what to expect and frequently asked questions.
For more information about the Nurse Navigator Program, please call (423) 495-7827.
Memorial’s GI-Colorectal Center of Excellence is committed to treating the whole patient, not just the disease.
After surgery, patients recover in a dedicated unit of the hospital staffed with specially trained, expert nurses who are dedicated to post-operative colorectal care.
Through our holistic approach, patients and their families have free access to chaplains, social workers, monthly support groups, and a peer-to-peer program that brings patients and survivors together for one-on-one counseling. If cancer is diagnosed, we offer an array of mind-body-spirit support.
In addition, genetic counseling is available for those with a family history of colorectal cancer, as well as patients and their family members.
We want to answer your questions and address your physical and emotional needs—before, during and after your procedure. Whatever your diagnosis, we have medical professionals to assist you. For more information on support services, call (423) 495-7778.