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Hoag Introduces New Rectal Cancer Clinic

The treatment of rectal cancer requires a unique, multidisciplinary approach. So, Hoag is taking a unique, multidisciplinary approach to treatment.

The new Hoag Rectal Cancer Clinic brings together surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, nurse navigators, geneticists, molecular biologists and supporting medical professionals in a comprehensive approach that rivals the nation’s top academic programs. Hoag’s model brings together all of a patient’s cancer treatment providers to create thorough treatment plans customized specifically for each patient.

“Rectal cancer involves multiple treatment modalities – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Patients want to know that their care is being carefully coordinated, that we’re talking to one another and working together,” said Babak (Bobby) Rad, M.D., director of Hoag’s Colorectal Cancer Program. “This united team approach allows us to create a treatment plan that is tailored for each of our patients.”

The Rectal Cancer Clinic involves a gastrointestinal tumor board as well as a molecular tumor board that meets regularly to discuss options and devise comprehensive, customized treatment plans. This level of communication and collaboration sets Hoag apart.

“It is unique for a non-academic center to provide this approach. Patients have only the most experienced physicians working together on their cases, which I think is important for the patients’ outcomes,” Dr. Rad said. “Everyone is on the same page.”

The clinic approach also empowers patients to take a more hands-on role in their care.

“One of the most difficult aspects of cancer is feeling a loss of autonomy over your own body. Having a nurse navigator who can explain everything, and the way we present our treatment protocols, everyone knows what’s happening to them,” Dr. Rad said. “They are active participants in their care and recovery. Patients are part of the team.”

Further differentiating Hoag is the fact that all of the surgeons in its rectal cancer clinic are board-certified and experienced in laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Hoag has long been a leader in robotic surgery and VR-enabled surgery, a level of expertise that improves outcomes, reduces risk and lowers recovery time following these sensitive surgeries.

“We do everything in our power to reduce post-operative pain and allow for a faster recovery,” Dr. Rad said. “Our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery protocol (ERAS) also allows us to reduce pain, limit narcotics and get people back on their feet quicker. Our goal is to get them out of the hospital and back to living their lives.”

For more information, call 888-320-6481.