This health video explores the advancements in colon Cancer surgery.
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Jennifer Matthews: Dermatologist Robert Feinstein is used to treating patients, not being one. But he followed his own advice when doctors told him he had colon cancer. Dr. Robert Feinstein: I always told them that if you get bad news, don't panic, think about it, and I can honestly say I was not panicked at all. Jennifer Matthews: Robert had laparoscopic surgery, and all went well. Dr. Robert Feinstein: Within one week of having the surgery, I was well enough that I was able to walk close to a mile. Jennifer Matthews: After a large, seven-year study, Doctor Richard Whelan and colleagues found no difference in survival or cancer recurrence between laparoscopic surgery and standard open, and much more invasive surgery. Dr. Richard Whelan: There was no difference in the number of lymph nodes that gotten out and the size of the specimen and the ability to put the bowel together afterwards was also not affected. Jennifer Matthews: Laparoscopic surgery was previously thought to up the chances of recurrence, but recent studies suggest it may actually protect against it. Patients felt the benefits. Dr. Richard Whelan: They were out of the hospital a little bit sooner, and also, they required less pain medication while they were in the hospital, and also, there was some difference in terms of quality of life. Jennifer Matthews: Still, there are drawbacks. Dr. Richard Whelan: Laparoscopic operation is harder to do. It takes more time, and some surgeons who have not done as much of this, and some just look at it and feel that it's not the best method for a cancer procedure. Jennifer Matthews: It was best for Robert. Dr. Robert Feinstein: I've been fine. My laboratory tests, the CAT scans, everything has shown that I'm completely clear. Jennifer Matthews: He'll need his strength for his first grandchild, Jenna. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.