Cancer During COVID: Colon Cancer (Lunch 'n Learn with the Doctors)

Health Topic Category

In this multidisciplinary talk conducted virtually, Drs. Merkel, Maloney Patel, Pepek and Salwitz discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the diagnosis, treatment and management of colon cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics include:

  • Addressing who is at risk
  • The connection between polyps and colon cancer
  • Determining the goals of care
  • Postponing diagnosis during COVID, when early diagnosis saves lives
  • Evaluating stages and treatment concepts
  • Screening colonoscopy vs. diagnostic colonoscopy
  • Choosing between types of surgery
  • The role of chemotherapy and new treatments
  • The role of radiotherapy for rectal cancer


  • Dr. Ira Merkel, Gastroenterologist, Digestive Disease Center of New Jersey; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Medical School
  • Dr. Nell Maloney Patel, Surgeon; Associate Professor of Surgery, Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Dr. Joseph Pepek, Radiation Oncologist, Princeton Radiation Oncology
  • Dr. James Salwitz, Medical Oncologist, Regional Cancer Care Associates, Central Jersey; Clinical Professor, Rutgers Medical School


  • Princeton Radiation Oncology
  • Regional Cancer Care Associates Central Jersey Division
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Digestive Disease Center of New Jersey
  • East Brunswick Public Library's Just for the Health of It! initiative to promote community health and wellness