March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is one of those rare cancers that can be effectively prevented if pre-cancer polyps are detected and removed.  

Learn more


The Gastrointestinal Tumor Service (GITS) and The Liver and Pancreas Service (LAPS)  are designed to provide easy access to a multidisciplinary team specializing in diagnosing and treating colorectal and gastrointestinal cancers.  

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 865-305-4487.  

Conditions Treated

Treatment Options

Treatment options are provided towards comprehensive education, prevention, risk reduction and diagnostics that include:

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies made available to patients that offer the newest treatments and test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat diseases. For more information, visit the Clinical Trials page or call 865-305-9773.




A gastroenterologist is a board certified physician with extensive training in diseases of the digestive tract, including colon cancer, acid reflux disease and hepatitis C. These medical specialists concentrate on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine (colon), rectum, anus, liver, gallbladder and pancreas.

Gastroenterologists at the University of Tennessee Medical Center provide evaluation and perform tests to make a diagnosis and collaborate with the multiple other cancer specialists to determine the best course of treatment for each individual patient.  Our team of gastroenterologists are board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the subspecialty board of Gastroenterology.

Our Team


Nurse Navigators

One call to the nurse navigator by the patient or referring physician results in a prompt evaluation and the expediting of care for each patient with findings suspicious for cancer or a known cancer diagnosis.  Navigators are specially trained nurses who provide assistance to patients and families by coordinating care and providing information, education, and support.

Colon Rectal Surgeons

Colorectal surgeons are doctors who perform surgery in order to correct problems with the small bowel, anus, rectum or colon. The colorectal surgeons at the  University Medical Center are fellowship trained and specialize in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders affecting the lower gastrointestinal tract.  Their expertise includes the treatment of tumors of the colon and rectum, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease & Ulcerative colitis), anorectal problems (hemorrhoids, fissure, abscess, fistula, and warts), and fecal incontinence. Colorectal surgeons provide screening for colorectal polyps and cancer as well as screening for anal cancer, including high resolution anoscopy. Colorectal surgeons are trained in advanced surgical techniques, including J-pouch surgery for ulcerative colitis, minimally invasive surgery, and minimal access approaches to colon and rectal surgery using conventional laparoscopy, and robotic assisted surgery. The colorectal surgeons also provide post-operative care to ensure proper healing and recovery.  

Surgical Oncologists

The board certified fellowship trained surgical oncologists at The University of Tennessee Medical Center work closely with a team of physicians at the Cancer Institute including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, plastic/reconstructive surgeons, genetic counselors, oncology nurse navigators and social workers to develop individualized cancer treatment plans. Patients treated by the surgical oncologists benefit from discussion of their treatment plans in multdisciplinary conferences and from innovative treatment procedures not available elsewhere in the region or state.

Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon

Our board certified surgeons at the University of Tennessee Medical Center specialize in the surgical management of complex liver, biliary, and pancreatic diseases.  Using innovative approaches such as portal vein resection and various ablative techniques, this team provides a multidisciplinary approach designed to meet each patient’s individual needs.  

Radiation Oncologists

A radiation oncologist is a board certified physician who uses radiation to treat cancer.  Radiation can be given to cure cancer either alone or in combination with surgery and/or chemotherapy. It may also be given to relieve symptoms.  In some cases, radiation may also be used to treat benign tumors.  Our highly experienced team of radiation oncologists offer multiple treatment options including 3D conformal radiation, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), rotational RapidArc therapy, high and low dose brachytherapy, and stereotactic radiosurgery utilizing the CyberKnife.  The radiation oncologists are part of the multidisciplinary team that reviews each patient’s case to determine an individualized treatment plan for each cancer patient.

Medical Oncologists

At the University of Tennessee Medical Center, our board certified medical oncologists are experts in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of cancer including solid tumors and hematologic malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma.  A medical oncologist is a physician who specializes in the medical treatment of cancer with chemotherapy as well as biological and hormonal therapy. Our medical oncologists work closely with the multidisciplinary oncology team to determine an individualized care plan and to coordinate the patient’s care.  Evidence based treatment guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and other peer-reviewed, nationally recognized organizations are used as guidelines to ensure adherence to clinical practice standards (“best practices”) and to optimize the quality of care and patient outcomes.


The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Department of Pathology provides expert surgical pathology services which are critical to the diagnosis and classification of colorectal cancers. An accurate diagnosis involving both gross and microscopic examination of tissue, body fluids and cells is a requisite to determining an individualized  treatment plan for each patient.  Special tests and molecular markers are also performed by the Pathology Department which provide additional information important to the multidisciplinary team when recommending the most appropriate treatment. The Department of Pathology also offers a second review and opinion of slides and reports from other facilities. Our team of board certified pathologists includes pathology faculty members who specialize in ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­specific cancers and have extensive experience evaluating and accurately characterizing cancerous tissue specimens.

Interventional Radiologists

 Interventional Radiology (IR) is a subspecialty of radiology.  These board certified physicians use image-guided minimally invasive techniques to diagnosis and treat cancer in almost every organ.  These techniques represent a major advance in medicine eliminating the necessity for large incisions, decreasing risk and pain, and results in shorter recovery times than traditional surgical procedures. IR procedures are performed by specially trained interventional radiologists who use a variety of imaging tools to see internal structures of the body as they intervene. The images provide road maps that allow the interventional radiologist to guide these catheters or instruments through the body to site of the cancer to be treated.

Our Team

 Meet the Team

Supportive Care

The Integrative Healthcare program at The University of Tennessee Medical Center Cancer Institute is designed to provide supportive and integrative therapies for cancer patients and their caregivers during all stages of cancer care from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. More