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Minimally Invasive Surgery for Treatment of Colorectal Cancer Yields Optimal Outcomes for Patients

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) March 20, 2013

Colon and rectal cancer together comprise the nation's second-leading cause of cancer deaths. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 people die from it. Fortunately, the death rate from this disease has steadily been decreasing for the last 20 years due to preventative screening and more sophisticated surgical approaches. One of these approaches is minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive laparoscopic colorectal surgery allows surgeons to perform many common colon and rectal procedures through small incisions. Depending on the type of procedure, patients may leave the hospital in a few days and return to normal activities more quickly than patients recovering from open surgery. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) has issued “Patient Information Guidelines for Colonoscopy" for those focusing on prevention, and “Patient Information Guidelines for Laparoscopic Colon Resection” for those undergoing cancer treatment, highlighting the advantages of minimally invasive procedures and other pertinent information.

“Early screening is key to prevention, and it is worth remembering that colorectal cancer is the only one of the five most common cancers that can actually be prevented by screening – i.e. by removing colorectal polyps before they can turn into cancer. However when patients have to make a decision about treatment, they should be aware that minimally invasive operations are an option in many cases, as easier recovery can often be achieved through minimally invasive surgery (MIS),” said Dr. Scott Melvin, SAGES President and Professor and Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery and Professor at Ohio State University. “We want patients to know that under the right circumstances, choosing laparoscopic surgery will allow for a more comfortable recovery than an open procedure would and due to briefer recovery times, when necessary, chemotherapy treatment may take place sooner rather than later,” Dr. Melvin said.

Dr. Tonia Young-Fadok, Professor of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Chair of the SAGES Humanitarian Task Force added, “Through guidelines such as these SAGES is committed to encouraging patients to be more informed about the options available to them. Patients should feel comfortable asking their surgeon if a minimally invasive procedure is an option, and if not they may wish to seek a second opinion from a surgeon experienced with these operations.”

Guidelines are available at the links above or also at SAGES has been at the forefront of best practices in colorectal cancer surgery by researching, developing and disseminating the guidelines and training for standards of practice in surgical procedures. The SAGES 2013 annual conference will be held this spring in Baltimore from April 17th to April 20th and will feature sessions on the latest research and development in the field of minimally invasive colorectal surgery, colorectal robotics and various other topics.

The mission of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) is to improve quality patient care through education, research, innovation and leadership, principally in gastrointestinal and endoscopic surgery. SAGES is a leading surgical society, representing a worldwide community of over 6,000 surgeons that can bring minimal access surgery, endoscopy and emerging techniques to patients worldwide. The organization sets the clinical and educational guidelines on standards of practice in various procedures, critical to enhancing patient safety and health. For more information, visit

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