If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, Overlake Cancer Center can provide you and your loved ones with comprehensive, compassionate and leading-edge care.
We are the only Eastside facility providing comprehensive cancer-care services under one roof, including diagnosis, treatment, and supportive services. Our care includes Social Work; Mental Health Services; Medical Nutrition; Massage Therapy; Physical Therapy; Speech Therapy; Spiritual Care; and Palliative Care.
Overlake Cancer Center is affiliated with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). Through this partnership, patients may be eligible to participate in SCCA’s clinical trials of new medications and other advanced cancer treatments.
Overlake recognizes that managing a cancer diagnosis can be complex. We employ patient navigators to assist and guide patients and their loved ones through treatment. Patient navigators help with your concerns, including how cancer may affect your work and family life.
Colorectal Cancer Symptoms
Colorectal cancer may not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages. That’s why it’s important to have regular colonoscopy screenings, beginning by age 45. These screenings are done to detect problems in patients without symptoms, or to investigate symptoms that are associated with colorectal cancer.
Talk with your primary care doctor or gastroenterologist about your screening plan and call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Blood in or on your stool
- A worrisome change in your bowel movements (frequency, constipation, diarrhea)
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Abdominal pain, aches or cramps that won’t go away
Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors
Your risk of colorectal cancer increases with age and if you have any of the following:
- Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other inflammatory bowel diseases
- A personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
- Inherited or genetic disorders that predispose you to developing colorectal cancer
Lifestyle factors that can increase your risk for colorectal cancer include:
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables and/or one that is low fiber and high in fat
- Lack of physical activity or exercise
- Alcohol consumption
- Being overweight
- Use of tobacco
Colorectal Cancer Treatment
Overlake Colon and Rectal Clinic is a top choice for colorectal cancer care. Our treatment includes:
Colorectal Cancer Surgery
Overlake’s advanced surgical care for colorectal cancer may reduce pain and lead to shorter recovery times for patients. Overlake colorectal surgeons offer standard surgical procedures and minimally invasive techniques including state-of-the-art robotics.
Robotic surgery allows the surgeon to perform complex and delicate procedures with better access, precision and control than may be possible with conventional techniques. Both robotic and laparoscopic surgery require small, 5-10 mm, incisions. These incisions are much smaller than those used with conventional surgery, and they usually heal faster and accelerate recovery.
Overlake’s colon and rectal surgeons also utilize surgical prehabilitation and enhanced surgical recovery practices to assure you have the best possible outcome, from faster healing to optimal pain control.
Our colorectal surgeons understand that medical decision-making can be complex when confronting a cancer diagnosis, especially when there may be more than one right answer. We aim to educate you so that you can decide what treatment plan makes the most sense for you. Your team may include specialists in medical and radiation oncology, genetic counseling, social work and palliative care.
Radiation Therapy and Chemotherapy for Colorectal Cancer
Your care team may recommend radiation or chemotherapy. Overlake offers both chemotherapy and medical oncology services in partnership with SCCA.
Radiation therapy uses high energy rays to precisely target and destroy cancer cells. Medical oncology may include the use of chemotherapy, medications that travel through the bloodstream to eliminate cancer cells.
For some cancers, chemotherapy may be combined with radiation therapy for a more effective result. This approach is sometimes used prior to surgery to help shrink tumors and after surgery to help ensure cancer will not return.
At Overlake, we know that your needs extend far beyond medical treatment. That’s why we offer access to a team of experts who specialize in supporting you in many other ways. These experts include:
- Genetic counselors who work with patients that meet certain criteria to determine if they qualify for DNA sequencing. This sequencing can check for mutations that might affect colorectal cancer risk and indicate a need for colorectal cancer screening.
- Social workers who help connect patients with support resources they may need when going through cancer treatment.
- Palliative care providers who offer assistance with pain management, help patients and families process difficult decisions, and make sure patients and families understand all their options.
To learn more about Overlake Cancer Center, call (425) 635-3400.
To reach the Overlake Colon and Rectal Clinic, call (425) 646-7400.