Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us

Up to 12% of colorectal cancers occur in individuals under the age of 50. According to the National Cancer Institute, since 1994, cases of young-onset colorectal cancer have increased by 51%. While a cancer diagnosis at any age calls for expert treatment, young patients with colorectal cancer often have diagnostic and treatment considerations that are specific to their early age of onset.

To meet this challenge, we have established Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer with the aim of providing young colorectal cancer patients with personalized, comprehensive, and coordinated world-class care. Our multidisciplinary team understands that young adults with colorectal cancer face unique issues that require expert support at the time of diagnosis, during treatment, and during the survivorship and surveillance phase.

Our patients can take comfort in receiving care at Cleveland Clinic due to the following factors:

  • National recognition: Cleveland Clinic is ranked number one in Ohio and among the top five hospitals nationally by U.S. News & World Report in Cancer, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery specialties. This recognition speaks to the quality of our care. Cleveland Clinic is also NAPRC (National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer) accredited.
  • Customized care: We personalize our treatments to your symptoms, personal preferences and to ensure optimal quality-of-life.
  • Extensive experience: We bring together a highly-trained team from a variety of specialties to offer you the most experienced and skilled care available. The collaboration ensures that you receive complete care.
Diagnosis, Treatments & Procedures

Diagnosis, Treatments & Procedures

Our providers with renowned expertise in surgery, oncology, radiation therapy, genetics, gastroenterology, fertility, psychology, and lifestyle medicine come together to design a personalized care plan with a focus on curing cancer and maximizing survival, while also assuring optimal quality-of-life for patients whose cancer diagnosis can interrupt their most productive years.

Besides routine standard-of-care endoscopic and radiologic diagnostic studies, all patients with a diagnosis of young-onset colorectal cancer will be given an opportunity to meet with a genetic counsellor who specializes in hereditary colorectal conditions, to discuss testing for a genetic predisposition to colorectal (and other) cancers. Hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes are significantly more common among individuals with young-onset colorectal cancer than in patients diagnosed with colorectal after the age of 50. Colorectal cancer due to a hereditary syndrome often requires different treatment and surveillance than non-hereditary colorectal cancer. Therefore, all patients with a hereditary colorectal syndrome are also referred to the Weiss Center for further specialized care.

In addition to genetic counseling and testing in young individuals with colorectal cancer we also routinely perform advanced molecular tests on tumor biopsies to help guide personalized chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

All our patients, but especially young patients, who undergo surgery for colorectal cancer are treated with techniques that focus on curing cancer while at the same time preserving the best possible quality of life and minimizing the physiological and psychological stress related to surgery. We routinely use advanced minimally invasive surgical techniques and employ a comprehensive Enhanced Recovery Protocol that result in decreased postsurgical pain, shorter stay in the hospital, and quicker return to work following colorectal surgery.

Our center is also focusing on groundbreaking molecular and clinical research to better understand the alarming rise in young-onset colorectal cancer, with the goal of developing novel treatments and risk-based screening recommendations.

What We Treat

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team


Colorectal Surgery



Carol Burke, MD
Carol Burke, MD
Vice Chair, Research and Education
Carole Macaron, MD
Carole Macaron, MD
Associate Staff


Stephanie Schmit, PhD
Associate Staff

Sarah McGee
Sarah McGee, MS, CGC
Associate Staff

Radiation Oncology

Liver Surgery

Integrative Medicine


Daniela Allende, MD, MBA
Daniela Allende, MD, MBA
Director, Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Pathology


Registry Coordinators

Lisa Laguardia | Cleveland Clinic
Lisa Laguardia, RN

Susan Milicia, RN

Margaret O'Malley | Cleveland Clinic
Margaret O’Malley

Female Fertility Preservation, Maternal Care, and Sexual Health

  • Amanda Maggiotto

Male Fertility Preservation and Sexual Health

Make an Appointment

Make an Appointment

Call 216.444.6470 to make an appointment with any of our experts or to schedule a second opinion.

For 24/7 scheduling, please call 216.444.7000

Our office is located at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus.

Patient Resources

Patient Resources

For More Information

Butts & Guts Podcast

Cleveland Clinic's podcast Butts and Guts explores your digestive and surgical health from end to end. You’ll learn how to have the best digestive health possible from your gallbladder to your liver and more from our host, Colorectal Surgery Chairman Scott Steele, MD.

Patient Stories

Health Essentials Blog

Virtual Patient Event: Young-Onset and Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Education Day

During our virtual patient seminar Young-Onset and Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Education Day, members of Cleveland Clinic's Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute and Cancer Center discuss the rise in young-onset colorectal cancer, who is most at risk, nutrition monitoring, genetic counseling and more.

For Medical Professionals

For Medical Professionals


    • To refer a patient to the Center for Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer, please call 216.444.6470 or email [email protected]. For 24/7 referrals, please call our Referring Physician Hotline 855.REFER.123 (855.733.3712).

Consult QD

Read our latest posts on Consult QD, Cleveland Clinic's blog for physicians and healthcare professionals.

Cancer Advances Podcast

A Cleveland Clinic podcast for medical professionals exploring the latest innovative research and clinical advances in the field of oncology. Listen to Cancer Advances.