While cases of colorectal cancers are on the rise in younger patients, it's unlikely that younger people, or their primary care doctors, would immediately suspect a case of colorectal cancer when symptoms present. Anthony Dakwar, MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park, discusses the unique challenges that young adult colorectal cancer cases present to primary care physicians and oncologists and why a comprehensive cancer center like Roswell Park can make a difference in their patient's outcome and quality of life.
cancers in the adolescent and young adult population is definitely on the rise over recent years, more particularly colon rectal cancers. So much the american cancer society has lowered the screening age for colon rectal cancer down from 50 to 45. My name is Anthony Dakar. I'm a colon rectal surgeon here at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. I'd like to take some time and talk about and emphasize the programs we have for adolescents with new cancer diagnoses to start all new patients with colorectal cancer diagnosis get presented at our multidisciplinary conference. This includes a multitude of pathologists, surgeons, radiation, oncologist, oncologist, dietitians and so forth. And it really allows us to give personalized and customized care for each patient as we know. Young patients are not usually prepared both financially or mentally or socially for a new illness. And what we really strive ourselves in our adolescent and young adult program is that we help facilitate these needs to be dealt with. To highlight some of the services we have here at Roswell Park Is a young patient that I think of who was a 31 year old female, happy and healthy who just started a small family of her own and has a history of longstanding Crohn's colitis and had unfortunately developed a rectal cancer. Most of these locally advanced rectal cancers. These patients require a multitude of neo adjuvant therapies, including chemotherapy and radiation. And we're able to tailor and really personalize her care here, all the park. In addition to coordinating her care plan with her not only social needs as well as mental health needs were able to set her up with a specialized social worker in colon rectal cancer as well as a psychologist for colon rectal cancer and really helped her along her path and her journey of getting cancer care. Another thing I'd like to highlight here is that as she was 31 years old, she was still interested in growing her family and as some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation will render her unable to maybe grow her family in the future and enable pregnancy. We're able to send her to oncology fertility clinic and offer her egg preservation. She's now after all of her treatment care plan. Um she's happy and healthy and she's looking forward to growing her family. This is something that really really take pride and really means a lot to us here at Rosa Park and able to treat not only the patient disease but also their family members and their overall situation at home. This space required a multitude of organization and care coordination between the surgeon, oncologist, radiation, oncologist, dietitian, physical therapist as well as her uncle fertility situation being the cancer center. We are we're able to streamline this and get the patient quick access to all these services almost immediately and more so and more importantly even is the communication between all the fields and disciplines. Being here at Roswell Park at a cancer center. Communication between the field is almost instantaneous disability. To streamline care efficiently and communicate effectively between all the disciplines has really shown in our clinical outcomes and overall patient care satisfaction. Our adolescent and young adult care program here really provides that resource and ability to connect with our oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons in a way that maybe allowing them to be a candidate for clinical trials that may not be present at other centers, however, were not clearly sure as to why there is such an increase in the incidence and prevalence of colon rectal cancers and young adults. We do know that genetics do play a role in this, along with some dietary changes that happened over the years. Part of the solution to this problem is our access to clinical trials here at Roswell Park. The key takeaway here today is that there's a definite rise in colon rectal cancers among the young population and these patients require specialized and personalized care and they should seek help at a conference of cancer center such as Roswell Park