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Colorectal Cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi, Any advice on how to find the best surgeon for colorectal cancer? I've done some Internet surfing, but I'm not sure how to sort out the very best hosptials or to get the names of the best doctors. I live in So Cal, which I guess is good because it has a lot of different hospitals. Thank you, Amy's Mom

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

There are many good surgeons in So Cal...Mine specialized in low bowel resection...my tumor was in the first rectal fold. He was at UC Irvine Medical Center. BUT it depends on who your insurance carrier is....
Hugs, Kathi

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Do a search on comprehensive cancer clinics and see if there is one close by. There are 120 or so in the US and they are usually the most advanced in all cancers with research, surgeons, treatments, and clincial trials.

Lisa P.

jams67's picture
Posts: 927
Joined: May 2006

Be sure to go to a large teaching hospital. My doc was also a liver surgeon. His name is Tom Shires in Dallas. Excellent! jams

Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005


How "So" in SoCal are you? I have an excellent surgeon in San Diego. If you're this far down let me know and I'll give you his name/location.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi, Thank you so very much to everyone about how to find colorectal surgeons. As for where in So Cal we live, in the Long Beach area. Again, thank you so very much for your quick responses!

Anonymous user (not verified)

Dr. Robert Beart, USC Norris Cancer Center...absolutely fantastic and he works with an outstanding team of oncologists specializing in colorectal cancers and treatments. You can contact USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center for details, i.e., insurance, appointment, etc. Best of luck.

Monika whose husband Bert was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer three years ago and thanks to God, good doctors, modern medicine, and a little luck and faith, remains cancer free today :o)

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Amy's Mom -

Sounds like you may have some time. When I was diagnosed (5/23/05) it was clear that I needed surgery within two weeks. My GI doc suggested a surgeon who a) was a vascular surgeon, not a colo-rectal surgeon and b) was not in my insurance network.

I can see the logic of a vascular surgeon, now, but still don't agree and at the time it made little sense.

So here's what I did:

1) I made a list of all colo-rectal surgeons in my insurance network within anything remotely approaching a reasonable distance. This was not a small list and much as I hate CIGNA a very large number of colorectal surgeons participate in their plan.

2) I am in DC area and every year Washingtonian Magazine has a "top docs" article - top physicians in various specialties, voted in my other physicians with questions like "to whom would you refer a family member". I know this doesn't mean much, but it probably means a little bit of something. So, I made a "short list" of colorectal surgeons who were both in my insurance plan and on the top docs list.

3)Using an algorithm unknown to even me, I narrowed this down to 5 surgeons who were on both lists and practiced in hospitals that seemed reasonable (I ran the list of hospitals by my neighbor who has been a nurse in the area for 30 years and has some pretty good insight).

4) Then I called my internist and my GI doc and asked for a recommendation. I also had my husband call his internist. (These guys all practice in somewhat different locations.) One of the guys on my list was one Dr. Brad Bennett who practices in Maryland and DC. I asked my internist who he recommended and he immediately said "Bennett" - no list of 3 names and no hesitation (I hadn't told him my short list yet). So score 1 point. I called my GI doc and said that his recommended surgeon was not in my network and did he have anything to say about my list of 5. He immediately also said "Bennett" and then went on to say that depending on his mood of the day he either recommends Bennett or the other guy. Score 2 points. When my husband asked his internist, he was given 2 names and Bennett was one of them. Score 3 points as far as I was concerned. I didn't have time for any more points so I went with him and have never regretted it. Just sharing a methodology that worked for me. I didn't have much time, so a certain amount of luck was involved, but I think given the constraints my method was pretty good. I am always shocked when I read of people who are diagnosed one day and have surgery the next, for then you truly have no choice.

Best of luck,

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