Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality in both men and women in the United States. Colorectal cancer is highly preventable with regular screening, such as colonoscopy. Once a patient is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, it is highly curable when detected at an early stage.

Providence Colorectal Cancer Program offers state-of-the-art diagnostic and minimally invasive surgical options for patients with cancer of the intestinal tract, rectum, anus or peri-anal area. The program brings together experts in highly specialized areas to work as a multidisciplinary, patient-focused team. 

Our program works with patients throughout the continuum of care from screening and diagnostic procedures to cancer treatment and surveillance. Providence is there for patients every step of the way.

Program components include:
  • Collaboration among multiple specialties including gastroenterologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiation and medical oncologists, cancer genetics experts and oncology social workers.
  • State-of-the-art minimally-invasive surgical options including transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM). Patients who have surgery at Providence Cancer Center are twice as likely to have a laparoscopic, minimally-invasive operation than the U.S. national average.
  • Surgeons highly involved in education of other healthcare professionals around the United States including Providence Colorectal Surgery Fellowship Program, which trains the next generation of colorectal surgeons.
  • Cutting-edge diagnostic procedures
  • Clinical physician order sets for surgeons performing colorectal cancer surgery at Providence Portland Medical Center.
  • High volume colorectal cancer treatment, with over 36 percent of inpatient admissions for colorectal cancer being cared for through the Providence Colorectal Cancer Program in 2008.

Our program is led by Mark H. Whiteford, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.S.C.R.S., a physician and surgeon who specializes in minimally-invasive treatment of colon and rectal cancer, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Dr. Whiteford is a leader in the use of laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer, and he is one of a handful of surgeons nationally practicing transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM), a highly-specialized, minimally-invasive technique to remove large rectal polyps and early rectal cancers.