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Main Line Health Doctor Urges Discussion About Colon Cancer Treatment During Colorectal Health Month

Bums the Word...Laparoscopic Surgery Saves Lives and Sphincters

WYNNEWOOD, Pa., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the U.S. Faced with these daunting facts, Dr. John Marks, 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 John Marks, M.D., Lankenau Medical Center, Main Line Health. "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, 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 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. Dr. Marks' presentation on his approach was recently named the best session at an American College of Surgeons meeting.

About Dr. 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.

About Main Line Health
Founded in 1985, Main Line Health (MLH) is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. At its core are four of the region's respected acute care hospitals — Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital — as well as one of the nation's premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; and the Home Care Network, a home health service. Main Line Health also consists of Main Line HealthCare, one of the region's largest multi-specialty physician networks, and the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit biomedical research organization located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center. Main Line Health hospitals, with more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, are the recipients of numerous awards for quality care and service, including recognition among Truven Health Analytics' list of Top 100 Hospitals and top 20% of health systems in the nation, and Magnet®, the nation's highest honor for nursing excellence. Main Line Health is among the area's leaders in medicine, providing advanced patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.        

SOURCE Main Line Health

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