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Colon Cancer Program

Michigan’s most advanced care for colon and rectal cancers.

Colorectal cancer is a frequent diagnosis — more than 150,000 new cases are identified in the U.S. each year. Though common, these cancers of the colon or rectum can be aggressive and difficult for patients and families to talk about.

You deserve compassionate care from specialists who understand what you’re going through. At Henry Ford, we make your experience as comfortable as possible. Our goal is to provide the support, education and treatment you need to recover and get back to your life.

Our cancer team is available 24/7 to answer your questions. We know getting answers fast is important.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a collective name for cancers of the colon or rectum, the final two sections of the digestive tract. Most colorectal cancers start as growths called polyps, which screening tests can find. Colorectal cancer symptoms can be similar to symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders such as hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Colorectal cancer may spread to nearby or distant parts of the body. That’s why it’s important to find the cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more effective and less invasive. Learn more about our colorectal cancer care:

Why should I choose Henry Ford for colorectal cancer care?

It’s easy to find top care close to home. Patients come to Henry Ford from across the region for our precise diagnosis and advanced treatments. Our team treats patients referred from many other cancer centers.

While we offer several locations for colorectal cancer care, all of our doctors and nurses work from the same plan, created for your individual needs. You can rest assured that we’re all on the same page. Our team approach to colorectal cancer care includes:

  • Screening options for early detection: When colon cancer is caught early, it’s highly treatable. Our Open Access Colonoscopyprogram lets you schedule a colonoscopy without a prior appointment. We also offer alternative colorectal cancer screening tests.
  • Experienced doctors: Our colorectal cancer specialists form the most experienced team in Michigan. All of our colorectal cancer physicians are board-certified, and our surgeons are fellowship-trained in colorectal surgery. Find a colon cancer specialist or a rectal cancer specialist.
  • Specialized tumor board: Henry Ford specialists in surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, nursing and other disciplines work together to evaluate each patient’s case and treatment options. Learn more about tumor boards.
  • Personalized care: Our colorectal cancer specialists design treatments around you — the specific type of cancer you have, as well as your needs, overall health, age and lifestyle. If we suspect colorectal cancer runs in your family, our Cancer Genetics Program can provide genetic testing and counseling.
  • Latest treatments: Our specialists have extensive training in minimally invasive procedures that promote faster healing and recovery. Our advanced radiation technology targets cancer more precisely and includes stereotactic body radiation (SBRT). This noninvasive radiation treatment precisely targets tumors and spares health tissue. The Henry Ford team is also paving the way for new treatments with research on personalized gene therapy.
  • Dedicated nurse navigators: Our navigators help you schedule appointments and manage your care.
  • Full support: We provide a full range of colorectal cancer support services, including a clinic for ostomy care. We help you adjust if you need a temporary or permanent ostomy.
  • Clinical trials: We offer access to clinical trials that test new therapies not yet widely available. Our team is the first in the country to perform a clinical trial procedure designed to help patients undergoing gastrointestinal resection from colorectal cancer treatment. The procedure uses an intraluminal device that is temporarily inserted into the gastrointestinal tract to reduce the need for an ostomy bag, eliminating additional surgery and recovery for the patient. Henry Ford is the only site in Michigan, and one of a select few throughout the country, currently enrolling colorectal cancer patients in this clinical trial.
  • Colon cancer
    Colon cancer is a disease caused by cancerous cells that grow in the tissues and muscles of the colon. The colon is the first part of the large intestine. It helps convert digested food into waste that leaves the body as stool.

    Colon cancer (also called large bowel cancer) is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S., diagnosed in nearly 100,000 people each year . Henry Ford cancer specialists have extensive experience diagnosing and treating colon cancer.

    Learn more about colorectal cancer diagnosis or about our colon cancer specialists.
  • Colon cancer symptoms
    People with colon cancer may have symptoms similar to those of other gastrointestinal disorders such as hemorrhoids or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you experience potential colon cancer symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a colon cancer specialist.
  • Colon cancer causes and risk factors
    Doctors do not yet know what causes most colon cancers. But certain factors can increase your risk for developing colon cancer. Some you can change (such as lifestyle choices) and some you can’t (such as inherited genetics).
  • Rectal cancer
    Rectal cancer is a disease in which cancerous (malignant) cells grow in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is the tube that connects the colon (large intestine) to the anus, the opening where stool leaves the body. Our specialists diagnose and treat all stages of rectal cancer. About 40,000 people are diagnosed with rectal cancer each year in the U.S.
  • Rectal cancer symptoms
    If you experience symptoms associated with rectal cancer, schedule an appointment with a colorectal cancer specialist. Common symptoms and signs of rectal cancer include:
  • Rectal cancer
    Rectal cancer is a disease in which cancerous (malignant) cells grow in the tissues of the rectum. The rectum is the tube that connects the colon (large intestine) to the anus, the opening where stool leaves the body. Our specialists diagnose and treat all stages of rectal cancer. About 40,000 people are diagnosed with rectal cancer each year in the U.S.
  • Rectal cancer causes and risk factors
    Doctors do not know what causes most rectal cancer. The risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the disease are also not clear, but appear to include:
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