The colorectal cancer team at the Duke Cancer Institute integrates the most innovative radiation techniques with new combinations of cancer-killing drugs to achieve the optimal outcome for each patient.
Radiation therapy is used to kill remaining cancer cells after surgery, to shrink tumors before surgery, or to relieve symptoms of either colon cancer or rectal cancer. It’s not used often for early stage colon cancer, but it’s a routine part of treatment for rectal cancer.
Radiofrequency ablation uses intense heat to destroy tumors. The treatment is administered by inserting a needle-like instrument that delivers the heat, so it can be useful for tumors that can’t be removed with surgery.
Duke University Hospital is home to the only intra-operative radiation facility of its kind in the Southeast. This state-of-the-art operating room allows the team to deliver a highly specialized form of radiation directly to the tumor in the operating room without interfering with other sensitive organs.
Other novel radiation therapies available at the Duke Cancer Institute include transrectal ultrasound and hyperthermic radiation, which uses heat to boost radiation’s effectiveness.
For tumors that have metastasized to other parts of the body, Duke radiologists use the latest imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to pinpoint the precise location of tumors and guide treatment.
The Duke Cancer Institute is also a national leader in using preoperative chemotherapy and radiation treatments to shrink tumors in patients with colorectal cancer before surgery to reduce complications and improve outcomes.
Learn how to make an appointment at the Duke Cancer Institute.