Colorectal cancers begin in the colon or rectum. They often start as growths (colon polyps) that may spread (metastasize) into cells that line the colon or rectum. Sometimes, colorectal cancers spread to the liver and other organs.

If you’re diagnosed with colorectal cancer or have colon cancer that has spread to your liver, you’re in expert hands at Cleveland Clinic in Florida. Our specialists have honed their expertise through years of experience in treating these cancers.

Colorectal Cancer Care at Cleveland Clinic in Florida: Why Choose Us?

Hundreds of people from throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast come to our cancer centers each year for colorectal cancer care. Our physicians contribute their expertise in diagnosing and treating colorectal cancers to organizations that develop national standards for how these cancers are treated. Our program offers:

  • Specialized knowledge: Each member of our colorectal cancer team has devoted their career to diagnosing and treating these cancers. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained providers bring the highest level of excellence to every aspect of your experience.
  • Collaborative approach: Our team includes experts from all medical specialties, such as genetic counselors, surgeons, pathologists, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists. You may also see experts who perform image-guided procedures to treat cancer (interventional radiologists). With our multispecialty approach, you receive exceptional comprehensive treatment.
  • Colorectal cancer screening expertise: Our gastroenterology specialists are experts in performing colonoscopies for the early detection of colon cancer. We focus on diagnosing colorectal cancers early to give you the most treatment options.
  • Dedicated patient navigator support: Every patient who walks through our doors benefits from the compassionate care of a patient navigator. Your navigator walks beside you at every step of diagnosis and treatment to ensure you see the right providers at the right time. We get you the information and resources you need to manage life during treatment.
  • National recognition: Cleveland Clinic in Florida has earned national recognition for our colon and rectal cancer program. The American College of Surgeons National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer Care accredits the rectal cancer program at Weston Hospital. All of our cancer centers are Commission on Cancer®-accredited programs. These distinctions mean we meet or exceed rigorous national standards in treating these cancers so you can be confident in the quality of your care. Learn more about other awards and recognition our program has earned.
Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer

Diagnosing Colorectal Cancer

We determine the tumor location and size (cancer stage) of colon and rectal cancer and whether cancer has spread (metastasized). This information helps specialists provide personalized therapies. Experts use:

Blood tests

Our physicians perform blood tests to determine if cancer cells are present and whether the cancer has spread. We may do:

  • Enzyme and protein tests: Blood tests for cancer tell us if cancer cells are traveling through your blood, known as circulating tumor DNA. We use this information to assess cancer stage and how well you’re responding to treatment. During staging, we also use blood tests to look for specific genetic changes in the tumor (tumor markers) to help us treat you effectively.
  • Liver enzyme tests: We check the levels of certain enzymes in your blood. These liver function tests may show that cancer has spread to your liver.

Endoscopic procedures

Our colorectal cancer experts use a flexible instrument with a light and camera (colonoscope) to view the inside of your colon and rectum. We check for tissue changes and polyps. We may remove a tissue sample for biopsy using:

Genetic testing for chemotherapy toxicity

Specialists may recommend chemotherapy drugs as part of your treatment. But if your body doesn’t make enough of the enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) or UGT1A1 you may develop serious side effects from these drugs. We test you to make sure we can treat you safely.

Imaging tests for colorectal cancer

We use imaging tests to see if colorectal cancer has spread to your liver or lungs. Specialists may recommend:

Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Our colorectal cancer experts consider your age, health and cancer stage when creating your treatment plan. Specialists develop a personalized treatment plan for you, which may include:

Colorectal cancer surgery

Our colorectal surgeons perform hundreds of surgeries each year to remove colon and rectal tumors. Colorectal cancer surgeries may be traditional (open) surgery or minimally invasive. Our surgeons perform:

The most common treatment for colon and rectal tumors is surgery. You may also have adjuvant therapy after surgery.

Radiation therapy for colorectal cancer

Experts in our radiation oncology department use radiation therapy to help shrink colorectal tumors before surgery. We also use intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) during surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells before surgeons close the incision. We may recommend chemoradiation, where you receive a course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the same time.

Systemic therapy for colorectal cancer

After surgery, medical oncologists may treat you with drugs that travel through your bloodstream to find and destroy any remaining colorectal cancer cells. These include:

Treating Colorectal Metastatic Liver Cancer

When colorectal cancer spreads to the liver, our specialists provide care that offers hope. Although cancer is in the liver, it is still a colorectal cancer called secondary liver cancer. Our experts may treat you with:


Liver cancer surgeons remove the part of the liver that contains tumors during hepatectomy (liver resection). Your remaining healthy liver tissue regrows. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive options such as laparoscopic surgery to help you recover faster and with less pain.

Interventional radiology

If tumors are too large to remove, our specialists deliver treatment using nonsurgical interventions to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells. We may perform embolization, which involves inserting small beads to block blood supply and shrink tumors. We also offer ablation therapy to treat liver tumors.

Learn more about the Liver Tumor Clinic at Cleveland Clinic in Florida

Our Doctors

Our Doctors

Appointments & Locations Research & Clinical Trials

Research & Clinical Trials

Our physicians lead clinical trials to research new therapies to treat colorectal cancer and improve your quality of life during cancer treatment. Specialists in our Florida Research and Innovation Center also research emerging advancements in cancer care. Search for a clinical trial and talk to your doctor to learn if entering a clinical trial may be the right choice for you.

Support & Resources

Support & Resources

When you have colorectal cancer, you may have many questions and concerns. At Cleveland Clinic in Florida, you’ll find the answers and resources you need in our cancer palliative and supportive care program. We’re here to help manage colorectal cancer treatment’s impact on your health, family and life.