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Main Line Health doctor urges discussion about colon cancer treatment during colorectal health month

Lankenau Medical Center March 3, 2014 News Releases

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the U.S. Faced with these daunting facts, John Marks, MD, chief of colorectal surgery at Main Line Health and director of the Mirable Colorectal Cancer Center at Lankenau Medical Center wants Americans to have candid conversations about treatment so they are better prepared should they or loved ones develop this common and deadly cancer.

“Many people are talking about colorectal cancer prevention which is great. But too few people are talking about treatment options,” says Dr. Marks. “Let’s take the stigma away from learning about treatment so that more people aren’t afraid to talk about these problems and can have access to the new technology and microsurgeries that can save lives and preserve bowel function.”

Under his leadership at Lankenau Medical Center, a part of Main Line Health, 90–95 percent of colorectal surgeries are performed laparoscopically. The sphincter preservation rate for this approach, which eliminates the need for a colostomy bag, is 93 percent at Lankenau vs. 40–60 percent for the national average. This statistic is encouraging for patients facing a colorectal cancer diagnosis. Traditionally for many patients with colorectal cancer, treatment means the loss of the sphincter and the prospect of a life with a colostomy bag. This makes people afraid to even get checked.

Dr. Marks has set the global standard of care for colorectal treatment. Outcome data shows the recurrence rate of cancer at Lankenau is 2.3 percent vs. a 10–25 percent national average and the hospital’s survival rate is 88 percent compared to 68 percent nationally. His presentation on his approach was recently named the best session at an American College of Surgeons meeting.

About Dr. John H Marks

Dr. Marks is a graduate of Yale University and Thomas Jefferson Medical School where he also interned, completed his surgical residency, and completed his colorectal fellowship. He did an advanced minimally invasive fellowship at the University of Nice, France.

Story picked up by Digital Journal and Pharmacy Choice.

About Lankenau Medical Center

Lankenau Medical Center, a member of Main Line Health, is recognized as a national leader in advancing new options to diagnose and treat illness, protect against disease and save lives. Located on a 93-acre campus just outside of Philadelphia, Lankenau Medical Center is a 389-bed, not-for-profit teaching hospital that includes one of the nation’s leading cardiovascular centers; the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, one of the few freestanding hospital-associated research centers in the nation; and the Annenberg Conference Center for Medical Education, that trains over 100 new physicians each year through nationally ranked residency and fellowship programs. Lankenau has received both regional and national recognition for its excellence in providing state-of-the-art, quality care. Lankenau Medical Center has been named among the top 10 hospitals in Pennsylvania and top five in the Philadelphia metro area in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2016–17, and was ranked as high-performing in four specialties: gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, orthopedics and pulmonology. Lankenau was also ranked as high performing in all nine of the Common Core specialty areas that the publication analyzes, including: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, COPD, colon cancer surgery, congestive heart failure, heart bypass surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery. Lankenau has achieved The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for stroke care and breast cancer care and is one of the nation’s Top Performing Hospitals for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. Lankenau has also been ranked for multiple years as one of the top 50 cardiovascular hospitals in the nation by Truven Health Analytics. Lankenau has also earned the highest distinction for excellence in nursing care, the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet® designation.


Bridget Therriault
Director, Communications
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