When should a surgical consultation be obtained for patients with colon cancer?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Colorectal cancer, especially early stage disease, can be cured surgically. Following diagnosis and staging, obtaining surgical consultation for the possibility of resection may be appropriate. After surgery, the stage of the tumor may be advanced depending on the operative findings (eg, lymph node involvement, palpable liver masses, peritoneal spread).

In the care of patients with colorectal cancer and isolated liver metastases, consider surgical consultation for possible resection. In some cases, resection of previously unresectable liver metastases may become feasible after cytoreduction with neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Therefore, ongoing involvement of the surgical oncologist is very important in patient care, even if the tumor is not considered resectable at the time of diagnosis. In patients with advanced disease, palliative surgery may be helpful in cases of bleeding or obstruction.

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