Dr. Ross Discusses Advances in Recognizing, Screening, and Treating CRC

Howard M. Ross, MD, discusses advances in recognizing, screening, and treating patients with colorectal cancer.

Howard M. Ross, MD, colon and rectal surgeon, chair of surgery, surgeon in chief, Hackensack University Medical Center, professor, chair, Department of Surgery, Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, discusses advances in recognizing, screening, and treating patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

One significant change in the field of CRC has been the increasing recognition of disease in younger patients, including those aged 20 to 39 years and 40 to 54 years, Ross explains. The rates of CRC in these age groups have been increasing since the mid-1980s, and recognizing disease earlier has changed practice patterns. For example, all patients with rectal bleeding warrant should receive an exam and subsequent colonoscopy, but many younger patients did not receive that recommendation in years prior, Ross explains.

Another addition to the paradigm has been regarding neoadjuvant therapy and the increasing complete response rates observed, Ross says. Approximately 20% of patients who receive neoadjuvant therapy achieve a complete response; therefore, the watch and wait approach following neoadjuvant therapy is being utilized more frequently for patients who meet certain criteria.

Finally, with the increasing recognition of CRC in younger patients, modalities like Cologuard are being utilized more frequently to provide younger patients with a noninvasive screening method, Ross concludes.

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