Takeaways from the Colorectal Cancer Live Chat at Winship

colorectal-chat-emailThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, March 8th for the live online colorectal cancer program chat at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University hosted by Drs. Bassel El-Rayes & Seth Rosen.

Drs. El-Rayes & Rosen answered several of your questions about colorectal cancer risk factors, symptoms and therapy. The colorectal cancer program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University offers multidisciplinary teams including oncology surgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, and advanced practice nurses with expertise in colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers. There are a variety of treatment options for colorectal cancer; for some patients, a combination of treatment methods may be used.

Check out the conversation by viewing the chat transcript! Here are just a few questions from the chat:

Question: How prevalent is family history? Should I have a plan to have [colorectal cancer] testing done?

  • Answer from Dr. Rosen: Approximately 15% of colorectal cancer patients have a family history of the cancer.
  • Answer from Dr. El-Rayes: Family history is an important predictor of the risk of developing colon cancer. Patients with family history of multiple relatives with colorectal or other cancers should seek evaluation to determine if their family history puts them at added risk for developing cancer. At Winship we have a multidisciplinary team that includes geneticists, genetic counselors, colorectal surgeons, gastroenterologists, and medical oncologists who can work with families who have inherited pre-dispositions for colon cancer.

Question: If you have been diagnosed/hospitalized (8 years ago) with divraticulos how often should you have a colonoscopy? And is it related to bleeding that starts and stops when you are stressed and your bowels lock up? And is it hereditary?

  • Answer from Dr. Rosen: Diverticular disease does not have any bearing on risk of colorectal cancer, so it does not change surveillance or screening recommendations. It can cause bleeding, and there is possibly a hereditary component.
  • Answer from Dr. El-Rayes: The frequency of colonoscopy is dependent on family history, presence of chronic inflammatory conditions (like Ulcerative colitis) and presence of polyps. Diverticulosis of in of itself does not impact the risk of developing colon cancer.

Question: If a person with family history of Colon Cancer can’t afford the test who can help them?

  • Answer from Dr. Rosen: The Affordable Care Act offers free screening for colorectal cancer.


If you missed this chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. For more information go to the Colorectal Cancer at Winship Cancer Institute website or 404-778-7777 to learn more from a registered nurse.


If you have additional questions for Drs. El-Rayes & Rosen, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.


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