Colon & Rectal Cancer Specialist

Southern California Multi-Specialty Center

Vascular Surgeons & Pancreatic and Robotic Surgeons located in Porter Ranch, CA & Sherman Oaks, CA

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America, yet it’s highly treatable when caught in an early stage. Patients with colorectal cancer need an experienced surgeon like Dr. Babak Eghbalieh at Southern California Hepatobiliary Pancreatic & Robotic Surgery Institute, who is an expert in robot-assisted removal of colorectal cancer. Dr. Eghbalieh sees patients throughout the Southern California area, with offices in Valencia, Porter Ranch, and Sherman Oaks, California, and a new office opening in Los Angeles in the near future.

Colon & Rectal Cancer Q & A

Colon & Rectal CancerHow does colorectal cancer develop?

Colon cancer occurs throughout the large intestine, but when cancer develops in the last 6 inches of the colon, it’s rectal cancer. As a result, you’ll often see the two referred to as one condition — colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer begins as benign (noncancerous) polyps that grow in the wall of the colon. It takes 10-20 years for the polyps to become cancerous, which is why colorectal cancer generally appears after the age of 50 years. This slow-growing cancer is preventable through colonoscopy screening which helps find and remove polyps before cancer develops.  However, in a recent study, American Cancer Society researchers found new cases of colon and rectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among young and middle-aged adults in the U.S.

What causes colorectal cancer?

About 25% of the cases of colorectal cancer arise from a genetic component, so having a family history may increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. However, its cause can’t be identified in most cases.

Colorectal cancer is strongly associated with lifestyle issues like diet and weight such as:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating a diet high in processed meat  
  • Cooking meat at very high temperature
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Heavy alcohol use

You may also have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer if you have a history of inflammatory bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, or you’ve been previously treated for prostate or testicular cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms of colon cancer?

When polyps first develop in the colon, they’re small and often don’t cause any symptoms. As cancer develops, you’ll begin to experience the following:

  • Changes in bowel habits
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal discomfort, such as frequent gas, bloating, cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Feeling that bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Anemia, weakness, and racing heart due to blood loss

How does Dr. Eghbalieh treat colorectal cancer?

After colorectal cancer is diagnosed, the cancer and part of the colon must be surgically removed. Dr. Eghbalieh is a highly-trained and experienced general surgeon, and a specialist in robotic surgery and minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery. The doctor’s surgical expertise combined with the latest surgical instruments give patients a safe and effective option for removal of their colorectal cancer.

When Dr. Eghbalieh performs robot-assisted surgery for colorectal cancer, the state-of-the-art device offers several advantages. It gives Dr. Eghbalieh a three-dimensional view of the colon, provides extreme steadiness during the procedure, and allows him to manipulate the highly-mobile robotic arms for meticulous cancer removal.

Dr. Eghbalieh successfully reconnects the colon in most cases, depending on the location and severity of the cancer. Following robot-assisted minimally-invasive surgery, patients need less time to recover and have less pain than after conventional surgery.

Major Insurance Providers Accepted

Dr. Eghbalieh accepts many of the largest Insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the accepted plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Aetna
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Cigna
Facey Medical Group
Health Net
Healthcare Partners
Imperial Health Holdings
Medi-Cal
Medicare
Regal HMO
United Health Care
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