Dedicated Team with Specialized Expertise

The Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor provides access to leading-edge cancer treatments coupled with compassionate care. Your cancer treatment team* may include:

  • Surgical oncologist
  • Medical oncologist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Palliative medicine physician
  • Pathologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Social worker
  • Interventional radiologist
  • Advanced practice nurses
  • Geneticist
  • Rehabilitation therapist

Your doctor and other care providers collaborate weekly in multidisciplinary cancer conferences that are specific to gastrointestinal cancer(s), bringing together expertise from a variety of disciplines to develop the best treatment plans for you.

We offer a comprehensive minimally invasive surgical program, including robotics-assisted surgery, available to qualified patients. The team of specialized interventional radiologists offer targeted therapies to treat colorectal cancer and metastases and our surgeons specialize in treating advanced, complex cases.

*In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified, are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliates. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.

Nurse Navigators To Guide You

Our goal is to reduce anxiety associated with cancer treatment and support your overall well-being. Each patient is assigned a specialized nurse navigator to guide you and your family through treatment.

Your navigator works closely with your doctors to coordinate your care, answer questions and connect you to beneficial support services. Throughout your care, your navigator will provide education about your diagnosis and care plan.

Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Screening

Colorectal cancer — which includes cancers of the colon and rectum — is the third most common cancer in both men and women, and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Fortunately, 90 percent of colorectal cancer cases are curable if caught early. Regular colonoscopy screenings are essential for anyone over age 50. People under age 50 who are overweight, consume too much alcohol and tobacco, have a family history of cancer or a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease may also be at an increased risk of GI cancer.

Screenings include:

  • Colonoscopy – viewing the entire length of the colon with a flexible, lighted tube
  • Sigmoidoscopy – viewing a portion of the large intestine with a flexible, lighted tube
  • Biopsy – taking a small sample of tissue during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
  • Digital rectal exam (DRE)
  • Fecal occult blood test
  • Barium enema – used with X-ray

Ask your primary care physician for a referral for a colonoscopy if you are at risk. To make an appointment for your colonoscopy, please call central scheduling at 630.933.5000. TTY for the hearing impaired 630.933.4833.

Need a primary care physician or gastroenterologist, call 630.933.4234 to speak to a Find a Doctor representative.


Your specialized physician may stage your colorectal cancer using the following methods:

  • CT scan designed to specifically evaluate the colon and/or rectum
  • PET/CT scan

Colorectal Cancer Treatments

Your colorectal cancer treatment depends on your overall health, extent of the disease and your tolerance for various therapies. The sequence and combination of treatment will depend on the site and stage of your cancer.


The primary treatment for colorectal cancer is often surgical removal (called resection) of the cancerous portion and surrounding lymph nodes, along with a length of normal tissue on either side of the cancer. Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital have specialized surgical oncologists who have expertise in metastatic colorectal cancer surgery including resection and ablation of the liver. Many of these surgeries can be done using a minimally invasive approach.

Radiation Therapy

Your radiation oncologist will discuss with you the best options for your diagnosis. These may include:

  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) - high-precision radiotherapy that uses computer-controlled linear accelerators to deliver precise radiation doses to a malignant tumor.
  • Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SBRT) - the delivery of a single high dose radiation treatment or a few fractionated radiation treatments to a malignant tumor.
  • Proton therapy — one of the most precise forms of radiation therapy, proton treatment can be precisely controlled so most of the radiation ends up directly in the tumor, reducing the risk of damage to surrounding healthy tissues and causing fewer short- and long-term side effects. It has been effective in treating certain types of colorectal cancer. Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center* is the first and only health system in Illinois and the ninth in the country to offer proton therapy.


Drugs are administered, either intravenously or orally, to interfere with the cancer cell’s ability to reproduce. Your experienced medical oncologist will determine the best combination of medications for your stage of cancer. Studies have shown that chemotherapy after surgery can increase the survival rate for patients with some stages of colorectal cancer. Chemotherapy can also help relieve symptoms of advanced cancer.

Targeted Therapies

  • Y-90 - A specialized interventional radiologist may use intra-arterial yttrium-90 radioembolization (commonly called Y-90) to radiate a liver tumor. Y-90 uses radioactive isotopes to deliver radiation directly to a tumor. This method may be used if your colorectal cancer has spread to the liver.
  • Chemoembolization - A specially trained interventional radiologist can perform a procedure in which anticancer drugs are administered directly into a tumor through its feeding blood supply, which allows for a higher concentration of the drug to be in contact with the tumor for a longer period of time.
  • Ablation therapies – Ablation is a type of treatment which destroy tumors without removing them. This techniques may be used for patients when surgery is not a good option because of poor health or reduced liver function. Often, ablation can be done without surgery by inserting a needle or probe into the tumor through the skin.

Palliative Medicine

Side effects from cancer treatment can impact your quality of life and your body’s ability to respond to treatment. Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Warrenville and the Northwestern Medicine Cancer Center Delnor is home to a diverse team of palliative medicine specialists who work with your oncologist to help relieve your pain and manage your symptoms. The palliative medicine specialists:

  • Treat pain and other physical symptoms of cancer, such as fatigue, nausea, trouble sleeping, poor appetite, breathing difficulties, and weight loss
  • Treat emotional symptoms, such as depression and anxiety
  • Improve your body’s ability to tolerate cancer treatments
  • Help you better understand tests, procedures, and options
  • Guide you and those who care for you to helpful outside resources

From your initial diagnosis throughout your care, the palliative medicine team can help you remain stronger in your fight against cancer and feel better, every step of the way.

Clinical Trials

You can participate in clinical trials, which focus on prevention and treatment options for colorectal cancer.

Genetic Testing

Certain kinds of cancer run in families. If you or your family members have had cancer before age 50 or two or more incidences of different types of cancer, or if you have had several family members diagnosed with cancer, you may want to consider genetic services.

If you have family members who have had colorectal cancer, learn more about Lynch syndrome testing Cadence-health-information.

*The Northwestern Medicine® Chicago Proton Center (Center) is a joint venture between various Northwestern Memorial HealthCare subsidiaries and physicians of Radiation Oncology Consultants, Ltd., dedicated to providing proton therapy in Illinois. The physicians that practice at the Center are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare nor its subsidiaries. They have chosen this facility as the place they wish to care for and treat their private patients.

Clinical Trials

Find out if there’s a clinical trial for your type of colorectal cancer currently in progress through Central DuPage Hospital (CDH) or Delnor Hospital. Your doctor can tell you if you are eligible. See the cancer clinical trials list.

Learn more about the benefits and guidelines for participating in a clinical trial from the National Cancer Institute*.

Know what questions to ask* when evaluating a clinical study at*, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

*By clicking on these websites, you are leaving the Northwestern Medicine website. These websites are independent resources. Northwestern Medicine does not operate or control the content of these websites.

Support Services for Colorectal Cancer

If you are battling colorectal cancer, LivingWell Cancer Resource Center, part of Northwestern Medicine, can be a vital component of your treatment and recovery. LivingWell serves as a gathering place providing comfort and community to anyone experiencing the effects of cancer. The LivingWell staff works to ensure that you and your family feel less isolated, better informed, more hopeful and empowered to take on the challenge of facing cancer.

LivingWell services include more than 75 free-of-charge programs including educational classes, support and networking groups, exercise classes, counseling, nutrition classes, and stress reduction classes. For more information or a schedule of events, contact the staff at or 630.262.1111.

The American Cancer Society’s Wig Boutique at LivingWell lets you select a brand new wig, hat and scarf at no cost while you are undergoing cancer treatment. An experienced American Cancer Society volunteer will help you select and fit the right wig.

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