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Colorectal Cancer Surgeon

Rectal cancer surgery or colon cancer surgery at the Southern California Multi-Specialty Center

Colon & Rectal Cancer Surgery

Colon cancer occurs throughout the large intestine, but when cancer develops in the last 6 inches of the colon, it’s rectal cancer. As a result, you’ll often see the two referred to as one condition — colorectal cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America! Yet it’s highly treatable when caught in an early stage.

Patients with either colon cancer or rectal cancer need an experienced surgeon like Dr. Babak Eghbalieh at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center. Dr Eghbalieh is an expert in robot-assisted removal of both types of cancer.

Dr. Eghbalieh sees patients throughout the Southern California area, with offices in Sherman Oaks, Valencia, and Porter Ranch with a new location opening in Tarzana in the near future.

Colon & Rectal Cancer Q & A

Diagram of the internal organs noting the colon for people with bowel cancer who want colon cancer treatment with a colo rectal surgeon in Los Angeles

See a doctor if you are experiencing bleeding from the rectum, changes in bowel habits or abdominal pain, as they could be symptoms of colon cancer.

What is colon cancer?

Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the colon, which is the large intestine. The colon is the final part of the digestive system, where waste material is stored before it is eliminated from the body. Most colon cancers develop from colon polyps, which are small growths on the inner lining of the colon. If colon polyps are left untreated, they can become cancerous. Colon cancer typically affects people over the age of 50, although it can occur at any age. According to recent national data, colon cancer is the fastest growing cancer among 20-30 year olds. Symptoms of colon cancer include bleeding from the rectum, changes in bowel habits, and abdominal pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Early detection is key to successful treatment of colon cancer. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

What is rectal cancer?

Rectal cancers are a type of cancer that affects the rectum, which is the lower section of the colon. The colon is a long, tube-like organ in the digestive system that absorbs water and nutrients from food. The rectum is the section of the colon that connects to the anus, and stool passes through this area when it leaves the body. Rectal cancer can develop in any part of the rectum, but it most commonly affects the upper or lower third of the rectum. Rectal cancer is similar to colon cancer, and both types of cancer are treated in a similar way. Surgery is the most common rectal cancer treatment, and radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used.

How does colorectal cancer develop?

Colorectal cancer begins as benign (non-cancerous) polyps that grow in the wall of the colon. It takes 5-10 years for the polyps to become cancerous, which is why colorectal cancer generally appears after the age of 50 years.

This slow-growing cancer is preventable through colonoscopy screening which helps find and remove polyps before cancer develops.  However, in a recent study, American Cancer Society researchers found new cases of colon and rectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among young and middle-aged adults in the U.S.

What causes colorectal cancer?

About 8% of the cases of colorectal cancer arise from a genetic component, so having a family history may increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. However, its cause can’t be identified in most cases.

Colorectal cancer is strongly associated with lifestyle issues like diet and weight such as:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating a diet high in processed meat
  • Cooking meat at very high temperature
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy alcohol use

You may also have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer if you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, or you’ve been previously treated for prostate or testicular cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

When polyps first develop in the colon, they’re small and often don’t cause any symptoms. As cancer develops, you’ll begin to experience the following:

  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal discomfort, such as frequent gas, bloating, cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Feeling that bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Anemia, weakness, and racing heart due to blood loss
Dr. Babak Bobby Eghbalieh is the colo rectal surgeon who treats colon cancer, bowel cancer and rectal cancer in Los Angeles

Babak (Bobby) Eghbalieh, MD, FACS

Dr. Stephanie Young of SCMSC

Stephanie Young, MD/MPH

Treatment of Colorectal Cancer

After the cancer is diagnosed, the cancer and part of the colon must be surgically removed. Dr. Eghbalieh is a highly-trained and experienced general surgeon, and a specialist in robotic surgery and minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. The doctor’s surgical expertise combined with the latest surgical instruments give patients a safe and effective option for removal of their colorectal cancer.

When Dr. Eghbalieh performs robot-assisted surgery for colorectal cancer, the state-of-the-art device offers several advantages. It gives Dr. Eghbalieh a three-dimensional view of the colon, provides extreme steadiness during the procedure, and allows him to manipulate the highly-mobile robotic arms for meticulous cancer removal. Dr. Eghbalieh has performed the most robotic surgeries in the Los Angeles area.

Dr. Eghbalieh successfully reconnects the colon in most cases, depending on the location and severity of the cancer. Following robot-assisted minimally-invasive surgery, patients need less time to recover and have less pain than after conventional colon surgery or rectal cancer surgery.

To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Eghbalieh or Dr. Young at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center, call 818-900-6480.

Make an appointment at SCMSC

We look forward to welcoming you

Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Eghbalieh or Dr. Young at Southern California Multi-Specialty Center.

SCMSC front office staff in Los Angeles checking in a patient for colon cancer treatment