Colorectal Cancer

In the earliest stages of colorectal cancer, polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy. However, if you have colorectal cancer, your care at Silver Cross may include one or more of the following:


Surgery is the most common treatment, especially if the colorectal cancer has not spread. Choosing a qualified, experienced surgeon is critical to your outcome, and choosing a hospital experienced in these procedures is also paramount.

Recognized National Team of Experts

Silver Cross Hospital is part of an elite group of nationally recognized General Surgery Epicenters due to the demonstrated excellence of R.A. Gamagami, M.D., an educator for general colorectal surgery. Physicians from all over the U.S. and South America travel to Silver Cross to learn advanced robotic surgical techniques from Dr. Gamagami and the Silver Cross surgical team.

Types of Colon Cancer Surgeries

  • Early-stage superficial cancers that are not deep can be removed where the cancer is cut out via the rectum, avoiding the need for cutting through the abdominal wall.
  • Surgical removal or resection of the area of the colon where tumors are present along with any affected surrounding tissue is the standard initial treatment for potentially curable colorectal cancers. These are cancers that have not spread beyond the colon or lymph nodes.
  • Specially trained surgeons at Silver Cross Hospital can do this laparoscopically using the robot. The robot allows the surgeon to easily connect the two ends of the colon after the cancer has been removed with a few tiny incisions, rather than the one long incision used in traditional open surgery. Robotic surgery allows most patients to benefit from minimal pain, low blood loss, fast recovery, and a shorter hospital stay with reduced complications.

Experience and Expertise

  • At Silver Cross Hospital, we have performed twice as minimally invasive colon resections than any other local community hospital.
  • According to Dr. Gamagami, 85% of his patients benefit from this new technology as compared to less than 10% in the Chicago metropolitan area.
  • Click here for a surgeon who specializes in colorectal cancer at Silver Cross.


For advanced cancer, drugs and radiation therapy may be recommended to you in addition to surgery in different combinations and sequences. These therapies are available in The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital.

Chemotherapy is used in patients whose cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and patients whose tumor has spread (metastasized) to other organs. It can also be used to help shrink the tumor before surgery, keep you cancer-free after surgery, and prolong life when surgery is not an option.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to target cancer cells in the colon and rectum.

At the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, we offer the latest technology that uses image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) to provide the safest and most accurate results. IGRT integrates advanced imaging during treatment to help fine-tune the placement of radiation beams. The TrueBeam™ system rotates around the patient to precisely target the tumor from nearly any direction.

The TrueBeam system is used to deliver intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), an advanced type of radiation treatment that conforms to the shape of the tumor. With IMRT, the radiation beam is broken up into many smaller beams that can be individually adjusted to deliver varying levels of radiation intensity. University of Chicago Medicine radiation oncologists were the first in the Chicago area to offer IMRT before bringing it to Silver Cross. Combining this advanced technique with years of experience, physicians at the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital can maintain excellent cancer control rates while limiting the long-term side effects of radiation on healthy organs.

Clinical Trials

Several clinical trials are available through the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center to patients at Silver Cross Hospital offering the most advanced and modern treatment options. To find out more, talk with your doctor or call 1-855-UCM-1400.

Schedule an Appointment

A physician’s order is required for all screenings except a fecal occult blood test. You can request a Free Colon Cancer Screening Kit (FOBT) online. 

Your primary doctor can refer you to a physician who performs these tests at Silver Cross Hospital.
You can search for doctors who perform colonoscopies. Once you have your order, you can make an appointment by calling (815) 300-7076.

45 or older?
It's time to schedule
a colonoscopy!

A colonoscopy can catch cancer early, when it’s most treatable, and help prevent cancer by finding abnormal growths called polyps that can turn into cancer. Without a colonoscopy, you may never know you have it.

So if you used "floppy discs" way back in the day, it's time to add colonoscopy to your to-do list. It’s the single best way for people 45 and older to protect themselves against colorectal cancer.

Call 815-300-7076 today to schedule yours. 

Upcoming Classes & Events

Find out about a minimally invasive procedure
Sept. 22.  Register here!

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.