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Tampa General Hospital’s Colorectal Oncology Program Offers Treatment for Tumors of the Intestines

Colorectal Oncology, Large IntestineThe colorectal oncology program within Tampa General Hospital's Cancer Institute has the array of resources needed to identify, investigate and treat precancerous polyps as well as benign and malignant tumors (including uncommon types of cancer and larger/more advanced tumors) of the large intestine. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine, a tube of muscular and epithelial tissue approximately 4 to 5 feet long through which waste matter is expelled from the body. The inner lining of the large intestine is where polyps most often grow, with the potential to become cancerous. 

Our Colorectal Oncology Team

Our team includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists and interventional radiologists, as well as support staff members who work together to provide comprehensive care. Attending weekly tumor board meetings allows our multidisciplinary team to develop a customized plan that addresses a patient’s needs on an individual basis. We take into account all the factors that can affect treatment and ensure each patient is cared for in the most efficient and meaningful way. The extensive experience of our team, as well as our numerous imaging and treatment resources, makes TGH a world-class cancer center.  

These are some reasons why U.S. News & World Report recognized Tampa General Hospital in 2020-2021 as:

  • A High Performing Hospital for Colon Cancer Surgery
  • One of the Top 8 Hospitals in Florida for Cancer care
  • Among the Top 10% for Cancer care in the U.S.

Diagnosing and Treating Colorectal Cancer

Depending on the progression of colorectal cancer, the health of the patient and other factors, our colorectal oncology specialists can perform the following diagnostic procedures and treatments:

  • Colonoscopies
  • CT colonographies
  • Fecal occult blood testing
  • Polypectomies
  • Local excisions

Minimally Invasive Options

A vast majority of colorectal cancer surgeries offered at TGH are minimally invasive and are performed laparoscopically or robotically. These procedures help patients avoid having to undergo a colon resection and colostomy. For example, a single-site laparoscopic procedure uses narcotics-free anesthesia and involves a small incision of only 2 to 3 inches in length. This causes less trauma to the abdominal wall, improves patient comfort and results in less scarring compared to traditional open procedures. Additionally, most patients are able to leave the hospital in three to five days instead of the standard seven to 10 days.

In some cases, we recommend that patients receive transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS). This approach can help maximize the amount of cancerous tissue removed from the rectum while also reducing the side effects associated with surgery. Our colorectal oncology team performs more of these TAMIS than any other hospital in west central Florida, giving us more collective experience in the field. Plus, our radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and other professionals can provide chemotherapy or targeted drug therapy as necessary to complement any procedure.

Early Detection is Key

Although the majority of colorectal cancer patients are 50 years or older, there is a concerning trend that our experts were the first to recognize a decade ago: More patients in their 30s and 40s are developing colorectal cancers. For this reason, we encourage and promote colorectal cancer screening for people younger than 50 years old. Early detection is an essential part of ensuring the best outcomes for our patients.  

Clinical Trials and Research

TGH experts and patients frequently participate in exciting clinical trials. During recent rectal cancer trials, some participants were completely cured of cancer without the need for a colostomy bag or surgery. When it comes to implementing and forming the latest guidelines through the forward thinking of local, national and international research studies, you won’t find a place that provides such holistic care for colorectal cancer patients as you’ll find at TGH.

We’re Here to Help

To learn more about the colorectal oncology program within TGH’s Cancer Institute, or to get a physician referral or schedule an appointment, please call 813-844-7585.