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Dr. Nelson on Why Patients With mCRC are Often Referred to Surgeons First

Douglas A. Nelson, MD, discusses why patients with metastatic colorectal cancer are often referred to surgeons before medical oncologists.

Douglas A. Nelson, MD, associate professor in the Department of General Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses why patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) are often referred to surgeons before medical oncologists.

Patients with undiagnosed mCRC who are admitted to the hospital for anemia, bleeding, or pain could be referred to a surgeon before being seen by a medical oncologist, says Nelson.

In the outpatient setting, gastroenterologists may diagnose a patient with mCRC, says Nelson. However, if the patient develops an obstruction, the gastroenterologist may refer the patient to a surgeon for resection rather than to a medical oncologist.

According to Nelson, this approach is not always optimal. Certain patients should be seen by a medical oncologist prior to a surgeon.

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