Updates

BJC and Saint Luke’s Officially Combine as BJC Health System

Why choose us for colorectal cancer care?

BJC HealthCare works with Washington University physicians, BJC Medical Group, and providers across the region to deliver extraordinary care. Siteman Cancer Center and the Missouri Baptist Cancer Center are two programs accessible through BJC HealthCare. We use the latest, most advanced therapies to provide effective colorectal cancer treatment. This means better outcomes for all patients.

When you to come to us for colorectal cancer care, you can expect:

  • A reputation for excellence: Siteman Cancer Center provides access to superior care close to home. Siteman is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 cancer centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Pioneering treatments: We have innovative treatment options for every stage of colorectal cancer. We perform minimally invasive surgeries that reduce the risk of long-term side effects. And we are on the forefront of new immunotherapy medications that provide hope for people with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Genetic testing and counseling: Genetic conditions that run in families are responsible for about 6% of colorectal cancers. We provide testing and counseling for you and your family to help assess risk and guide your treatment.
  • Research and clinical trials: Our doctors participate in cutting-edge clinical trials that help us improve treatment options. If you qualify, participating in a clinical trial allows you to receive promising new therapies not yet available elsewhere.
  • Comprehensive, supportive care: Our compassionate colorectal cancer care team includes support for you and your family. We’re here to help you navigate every step of your treatment. Along the way, our cancer support services team provides nutritional counseling, emotional support, palliative care and more.
When it comes to colorectal cancer, screening saves lives

Third grade teacher Barb Wilfong learned the importance of screening when a routine test found early-stage colorectal cancer.

Read more about Barb’s story.
What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer develops when cancerous cells begin to grow and multiply in either your colon or your rectum. Together, the colon and the rectum make up the large intestine. They form the last part of the digestive tract and help move waste out of your body.

When cells (cancerous or not) grow out of control in your colon or rectum, they form small lumps called polyps. If they’re not removed early (such as during a routine colonoscopy), some polyps can become cancerous. Left untreated, cancer cells can spread from your colon and rectum into other parts of your body.

The American Cancer Society estimates that around 150,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. And while colorectal cancer is still a leading cause of death, survival rates for the disease are on the rise. Early detection and better treatments are helping more people survive colorectal cancer.

How is colorectal cancer diagnosed?

There are several different types of screening tests we can use to detect colorectal cancer. These include:

  • Stool-based tests
    These non-invasive options require only a stool sample. Stool-based tests look for signs of blood, while others detect DNA changes that might indicate colorectal cancer.
  • Virtual colonoscopy
    This non-invasive test uses a CT scan to create 3D images of the inside of your colon and rectum.
  • Colonoscopy
    During a colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a small tube and camera into your colon. You'll be asleep during the procedure. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can not only detect, but also remove polyps.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
    This procedure is similar to a colonoscopy but looks only at the lower portion of your colon and rectum.
How is colorectal cancer treated? 

Treatment for colorectal cancer varies depending on the location of the tumor and whether or not it has spread to other parts of your body.

Colorectal cancer treatment may include:  

  • Our surgical oncology team includes board-certified surgeons who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer. We provide minimally invasive and robotic options.
  • Our cancer centers provide the latest, most effective chemotherapy and medical oncology treatments with a personalized, compassionate approach.
  • Our immunotherapy team is knowledgeable in the latest immunotherapy options to treat cancer. We use advanced genetics to tailor your treatment.
  • Our radiation oncology team features board-certified radiation oncologists, physicists and cancer biologists who specialize in the latest radiation therapies.
  • Targeted drug therapy
    This type of treatment uses medicines that zero in on the specific changes in cancer cells or in nearby tissues that cause the cancer to grow and spread.
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