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Biopsy for Colorectal Cancer

Insights From:Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD, Ohio State University-James Cancer Hospital; Cathy Eng, MD, FACP, MD Anderson Cancer Center; John L. Marshall, MD, Georgetown University Medical Center
Published: Monday, Aug 10, 2015

 
When communicating with patients regarding the best options for colorectal cancer (CRC), it is important to emphasize the need for a biopsy to confirm the initial diagnosis and allow for genetic testing, notes Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD. Genetic testing will not only improve the selection of frontline therapies but could also guide clinical trial eligibility. Fine needle aspiration may not capture enough cells to allow for proper testing, which could necessitate the patient undergoing a biopsy of the most accessible lesion, says Saab.

Patients should be informed of the risks associated with biospies but also reassured that a biopsy is performed under the guidance of a computed tomography scan or by ultrasound and carries a low risk of complications, notes Saab. Risks include bleeding and infection, which are rare. Pain is more common, but generally subsides after a few hours and can be managed with pain medications.
 
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When communicating with patients regarding the best options for colorectal cancer (CRC), it is important to emphasize the need for a biopsy to confirm the initial diagnosis and allow for genetic testing, notes Tanios Bekaii-Saab, MD. Genetic testing will not only improve the selection of frontline therapies but could also guide clinical trial eligibility. Fine needle aspiration may not capture enough cells to allow for proper testing, which could necessitate the patient undergoing a biopsy of the most accessible lesion, says Saab.

Patients should be informed of the risks associated with biospies but also reassured that a biopsy is performed under the guidance of a computed tomography scan or by ultrasound and carries a low risk of complications, notes Saab. Risks include bleeding and infection, which are rare. Pain is more common, but generally subsides after a few hours and can be managed with pain medications.
 
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