Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center launches rectal cancer tumor board
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. For rectal cancer specifically, the ACS estimates more than 43,000 individuals will be diagnosed with rectal cancer this year.
“Colon and rectal cancers are often lumped together, however, rectal cancer is not as prevalent as colon cancer,” said UTHealth colon and rectal surgeon Mark Pidala, M.D., F.A.C.S., who is affiliated with Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center. “In addition to being rarer, if you look across the country, there isn’t consistency in the treatment of rectal cancer. We are working to change that.”
Earlier this month, Dr. Pidala took a major step forward to standardize rectal cancer care at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands when he planned and hosted the hospital’s first Rectal Cancer Tumor Board.
A tumor board is a treatment planning approach where a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals reviews and discusses the medical conditions and treatment options of patients. In this case, the multidisciplinary team includes oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and surgeons, and the team will meet twice a month on campus at Canopy Cancer Survivorship Center.
“The Rectal Cancer Tumor Board will have a positive impact on patient outcomes. As a team, we will work to establish guidelines for treatment of rectal cancer based on research and what we’re seeing on the front lines,” added Dr. Pidala. “As we’ve seen with other cancers, consistency in treatment is key. For rectal cancer, our hope is that consistency in treatment will lead to lower rates of permanent colostomy, lower rates of recurrence and improved survival rates among our patients.”
To learn more about cancer care in The Woodlands, click here.