Dr. Lenz Describes Excitement Over Advances in GI Cancer
Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, the co-director of the Colorectal Center and GI Oncology Program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, believes this is an exciting time in the field of gastrointestinal cancers, as more tools become available to select the most effective treatment for each patient.
Selecting the best treatment is specifically important for patients with colon cancer, believes Lenz. Colon cancer distinguishes itself from other types of cancer by its ability to be cured by resection. In general, Lenz notes, if a tumor does not recur within 5 years of treatment the patient is considered cured.
In other cancer types, such as breast cancer, recurrences are possible for several years following surgery, making each patient a lifetime survivor. However, in colon cancer, Lenz notes, the impact that physicians have on disease management and resection makes the difference between life and death.