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Colon And Rectal Cancer Specialist

Joshua Ellenhorn, M.D., FACS

Board Certified General Surgeon & Surgical Oncologist located in CEDARS SINAI MEDICAL TOWERS, LOS ANGELES, CA

Colon and rectal cancers are a widespread problem that requires expert surgery to retain your ability to pass waste normally. Experienced surgeon Joshua Ellenhorn, MD, practicing in Beverly Grove, nearby Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, is a leading surgical oncologist who specializes in using minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic-assisted techniques to carry out colorectal surgery. Call today to find out more or book an appointment using the online form.

Colon and Rectal Cancer Q & A

What are colon and rectal cancers?

Colon and rectal cancers are masses that develop in the last sections of your gastrointestinal tract. Your colon and rectum are where stools form and pass out through your anus when you have a bowel movement. The colon and rectum are also known as the colorectal region.

Cancers develop when cells mutate and start growing out of control. In colorectal cancer, the cells that mutate start off in growths called polyps that develop in your colon and rectum. Polyps are common, and most of the time, they don’t cause any problems. However, some people have polyps that develop cancerous cells.


What are the risk factors for colorectal cancer?

You’re more likely to develop colorectal cancer if your family has a history of the disease or other cancers like:

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Uterine cancer


Having an inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis increases your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Smoking and drinking heavily also increases your risk, and there’s some evidence to suggest diet has a role to play. People whose diet is high in fruits and vegetables are less likely to get colorectal cancer.


How is colorectal cancer treated?

Catching colorectal cancer in its earliest stages is the most effective way to treat the disease. Dr. Ellenhorn recommends routine colorectal cancer screening that can detect and remove any polyps in your colon and rectum.

This approach is highly effective for preventing colorectal cancer and removing early-stage cancerous growths. At this stage, survival rates for colon cancer can be as high as 90%.

If colorectal cancer starts to spread, it’s more challenging to treat, but Dr. Ellenhorn uses the most advanced approaches for your treatment, working with medical oncologists and radiation oncologists to coordinate your care.


Would I need surgery for colorectal cancer?

If you need surgery for colorectal cancer, Dr. Ellenhorn is an expert in advanced, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery techniques. Removing the section of colon or rectum affected by cancer can be a very effective treatment method with a good prognosis.

Dr. Ellenhorn always strives to avoid the need for permanent colostomy or ileostomy following colorectal cancer surgery. He aims to not only rid you of cancer but to optimize your quality of life post-surgery.

Find out more about colorectal cancer treatments or book a screening test now by calling Joshua Ellenhorn, MD, today or schedule an appointment online.