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Areas of Expertise

The Colon & Rectal Cancer Program at UI Health uses a multidisciplinary approach to provide patients with the best care and treatment options available. Our department works with several other UI Health teams to provide a full care team. Below you’ll find a list of teams that make up the Center for Colon and Rectal Cancer team.

Gastroenterology (GI)

The Division of Gastroenterology & Digestive Diseases at UI Health is staffed by physicians and scientists who specialize in diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the small and large intestine (colon), and rectum. Our patients benefit from the latest advancements in diagnosis and treatment.

Brian R. Boulay, MD/MPH
Russell Brown, MD
Robert E. Carroll, MD
Bhargava Gannavarapu, MD
Allan G. Halline, MD
Barbara H. Jung, MD

Colon & Rectal Surgery

When a patient has been diagnosed with an early stage of colorectal cancer, surgical removal is the best option. Our team of surgeons specialize in treatment of the colon and rectum. They also work closely with our other cancer specialists to determine the best treatment plan for a patient, before and after surgery. They are able to perform colonoscopies for screening as well as diagnostic evaluations with biopsies. Even in cases where the cancer is advanced, surgery may be necessary to help relieve obstruction and or improve a patient’s quality of life.

Colon & Rectal Surgeons
Anders F. Mellgren, MD
Johan Nordenstam, MD

Medical Oncology

Our team of medical oncologists are specialists in treating gastrointestinal cancers, including those of the colon and rectum. One of their methods for treatment include chemotherapy. The medical oncology team will tailor a treatment plan for your unique needs, including chemotherapy, targeted medication therapies, and intravenous medications. Patients also may be eligible Clinical Trials.

Medical Oncologists
Howard Ozer, MD, PhD
Neeta Venepalli, MD, MBA
Rozina Chowdhery, MD
Dominic Ho, MD

Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncologists use radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. Radiation treatments are painless and usually last just a few minutes. Radiation is frequently used to treat rectal cancer in combination with chemotherapy. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors, special shields may be used to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area.

Radiation Oncologist
Matthew Koshy, MD

Interventional Radiology

Interventional provide imaging interpretation and image-guided diagnosis and treatment for colorectal cancers. In situations where colon and rectal cancer is advanced, the disease can spread to the liver; our Interventional radiologists can perform specialized procedures to help reduce the size of the tumors and relieve pain.

Interventional Radiologists
James Bui, MD
Rob C. Gaba, MD
Andrew Lipnik, MD   
 R. Pete Lokken, MD
Charles E. Ray, MD PhD


Familial Colorectal Cancer Genetic Program
If you have cancer that runs in your family or were diagnosed at a young age, you may be a candidate for genetic screening. Genetic screening, also known as genetic testing, is the sequencing of human DNA in order to discover genetics differences, anomalies, or mutations that might be pathological. Genetic screening helps to determine if a bloodline is at risk for developing or inheriting diseases.

GI Genetics Clinic
Clinic Hours: Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays — 8:30 am to 3:30pm
To schedule an appointment or to follow up on testing, please call 312.355.3493.

Genetic Counselors
Our genetic counselors are able to advise you on your needs for additional testing based on your family history and help you understand the consequences of testing.
Lara Balay, MS Ed, CGC
Tara Maga, PhD, CGC