Gastroenterologists can and should guide survivors of colorectal cancer toward lifestyle choices that will reduce their risk for recurrence and death from the disease. But how?
At the 2021 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Susan Urba, MD, a professor emerita in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, spelled out what clinicians can tell their patients who have recovered from colorectal cancer.
“CRC survivorship offers teachable moments,” Urba said. “Physicians’ recommendations at this point carry significant weight for our patients.”
Carol A. Burke, MD, the vice chair of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, and the head of the polyposis section in the Sanford R. Weiss, MD Center for Hereditary Colorectal Neoplasia, agreed. “A diagnosis of CRC hits the mind, body and soul of a patient. Gastroenterologists have a role as a healthy lifestyle coach to their patients, and this role is not restricted to our patients with CRC,” she said.