Colorectal Cancer Program
Treatment options for colorectal cancers often involve combination of treatments such as surgery and radiation or chemotherapy. Members of the colorectal cancer multidisciplinary team participate in a weekly Tumor Board to review cases and ensure best treatment practices are offered to patients.
The colorectal cancer program team is led by program leader Scott Dull, MD, and patient care navigator Lora Wingerter, RN, OCN.
Additional team members include physicians from medical and radiation oncology, gastroenterology, radiology, as well as a dietitian and genetic counselor.
The Billings Clinic Multi-disciplinary Rectal Cancer Clinic is a coordinated multi-specialty clinic for patients with diagnosed or suspected rectal cancer.
How does a multidisciplinary team benefit me?
- Patients are referred to the center by a Billings Clinic medical provider, an outside medical provider, or themselves.
- A patient care navigator contacts the patient and coordinates appointments for diagnostic lab, imaging and medical consults per physician order
- The patient meets with the patient care navigator who accompanies them to provider appointments
- A preliminary plan is completed and the case is referred to the next scheduled Tumor Board
- Final findings and treatment recommendations are presented to the patient by the lead provider
- The patient care navigator coordinates follow up appointments for treatment
What are the advantages of a multi-disciplinary team?
- Enhanced referral experience for the patient
- Fostered physician collaboration during treatment planning
- Expeditious medical management
- Patient provided with clear understandable information regarding their diagnosis, treatment, and possible outcomes
Rectal endoscopic ultrasound is one of the latest types of diagnostic imaging (radiology) used to help determine the extent of colorectal cancers. Specifically, it represents one of the most useful diagnostic tools for rectal cancer as it can accurately determine the depth of penetration and the potential spread of cancer cells to adjacent lymph nodes. This information can guide physicians to determine when radiation, surgery, and/or chemotherapy is appropriate.
For colorectal cancer, many ongoing national and Billings Clinic trials are available, including trials focusing on gene and immunotherapy.
Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment
This tool is designed to estimate the risk that a non-Hispanic white man or woman, ages 50-85, will develop colorectal cancer.