Colon Cancer

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Your First Visit

Where you are seen and what to expect during your first visit depend on your healthcare needs. You will be seen either at University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC, in the University District) or in the Colorectal Cancer Clinic at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA, in the South Lake Union neighborhood). The doctors at both sites work as a close-knit team along with other SCCA professionals.

It can be hard to remember every detail of a conversation when you are nervous or anxious. Bring a list of questions and a trusted friend or relative to take notes. Some people even tape record their visits to listen to back at home.

At a UWMC Surgery Appointment

If your colorectal cancer was diagnosed before you came to SCCA and doctors have already determined that you need surgery before any other treatment, then your first visit as an SCCA patient will be with a surgeon at UWMC. You will receive further care and treatment at the Colorectal Cancer Clinic at SCCA.

Here’s what happens at a surgery appointment.

  • Your surgeon, a doctor specially trained in gastrointestinal or colorectal surgery, will review your medical records, including any tests or biopsies you have had.
  • You and your surgeon will meet, and you will have a complete physical examination.
  • Your surgeon will explain why it is advisable for you to have surgery before you begin any other treatment, what your surgery options are, and how surgery fits into your overall cancer care.
  • You will leave the appointment knowing what your next steps should be.

At a Colorectal Cancer Clinic Appointment at SCCA

If your colorectal cancer has been diagnosed and you need to be evaluated by an oncologist to discuss your treatment options, you will be seen at the SCCA clinic. Our team of colorectal cancer specialists will review your information, do any additional tests needed, and discuss your diagnosis and treatment options with you. 

Here’s what happens at a Colorectal Cancer Clinic appointment.

  • Your medical oncologist will review your medical records, including any tests or biopsies you have had.
  • Your pathologist and possibly other team members will review your pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies) to help the other doctors thoroughly understand your cancer.
  • Your medical oncologist will meet with you and conduct a complete physical examination.
  • One or more of the doctors on your team will meet with you (and any friends or family members you would like to have with you) to discuss the team’s findings and any further tests you may need. If appropriate, they will begin to discuss a treatment plan with you. This is a good time to ask any questions you may have.
  • You will leave the appointment knowing what your next steps should be.