When is a gastroenterology (GI) consultation needed in the treatment of colon cancer?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Gastroenterology (GI) consultation is critical for screening of high-risk individuals (ie, patients with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyposis syndromes) and those individuals who are found to be inappropriately iron deficient or to have occult blood on screening fecal examination. A colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy is necessary to visualize the colon endoscopically, to obtain biopsies, or to resect polyps.

GI consultation may also be necessary in the management of advanced disease. The advent of colorectal stents allows a nonsurgical management of impending obstruction in patients who present with unresectable, metastatic disease.

GI consultation is necessary in the follow-up of patients after surgical resection and adjuvant chemotherapy. Patients must be screened for recurrent disease in the colon by colonoscopic examination at 1 year after surgery and then every 3 years.

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