Lower Gastrointestinal

Lower gastrointestinal (also called colorectal, bowel or colon) cancer happens in the large intestine of the digestive system.

The Lower Gastrointestinal Service is composed of a team of experts from both Peter Mac and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

All the members of the team have extensive experience of managing people with colorectal and lower gastrointestinal cancer, with a strong focus on patient care, supported by a commitment to research and education.

Depending on your presentation and diagnosis, you may be seen by a single specialist or a number of specialists. This may include a colorectal surgeon, a gastroenterologist, a radiation oncologist, or a medical oncologist. The colorectal nurse coordinators will see you, along with a stomal therapy clinical nurse consultant if necessary.

Your specialist may arrange a number of investigations including x-rays and scans, or a colonoscopy, as well as obtaining reports of prior investigations. Your case will often be discussed at a multidisciplinary team meeting, with all the specialist team present, including radiologists and pathologists, in order to generate a personalised management plan. You will then be reviewed in the multidisciplinary clinic by all the required specialists.

The team is here to support you through your diagnosis and treatment and help you make informed decisions about your care.

The Cancer Council in your state provides information and support for cancer patients. Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 phone service is open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, and staffed by experienced cancer nurses who can support those affected by cancer, their carers and loved ones by providing emotional and practical support.

Bowel Cancer Australia is a national charity with a mission to decrease the impact of bowel cancer in our society through advocacy, awareness, education, support and research.

Find more information at Bowel Cancer Australia.



Colon cancer
Rectal cancer
Metastatic colorectal cancer
Anal cancer
Advanced pelvic cancer
Appendix cancer
Peritoneal cancer
Pseudomyxoma peritonei

Related experts

A/Prof. Ian Hayes
Prof. Ian Jones
Mr Ian Hastie
Ms Susan Shedda
Mr Jacob McCormick
Dr Julie Chu
A/Prof. Peter Gibbs
Dr Alan Zimet
Dr Belinda Lee
Ms Carolyn Atkin
Ms Joan Donohue
Ms Sandy Hyde-Smith
Ms Joanne Campbell
Ms Renuka Clarke
Mr Peadar Waters


Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Tuesday (PM)

  • Multidisciplinary Clinic

Wednesday (AM)

  • Medical Oncology Clinic

Friday (AM)

  • Medical Oncology Clinic

Friday (PM)

  • Colorectal Surgical Clinic
  • Nurse led Colorectal Cancer Follow-up Clinic

The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Monday (PM)

  • Colorectal Surgical Clinic
  • Colorectal Multidisciplinary Meeting
  • Medical Oncology Clinic

Clinical Trials

We have a strong focus on clinical trials to enable us to improve care for not only our patients but all patients with lower gastrointestinal cancers. Every cancer patient is at the heart of what we do. Dedicated to you, we commit and pursue state-of-the-art research that we take from bench to bedside and beyond.

If you are interested in joining a clinical trial, speak to your cancer specialist.

For a full list of clinical trials we offer, visit our looking for a clinical trial page.


For patients

We understand how stressful and difficult cancer can be.

The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre team of experts are dedicated and sensitive to your individual health and wellbeing needs – we are here to help.

You will need a referral from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.

For health professionals

Where possible, all referrals should be made to a named clinician. If you do not know a specific clinician to refer to, please refer to the colorectal tumour steam director and the referral will be directed appropriately.

Visit the referrals page for further information

Peter Mac

Referrals should be faxed to our patient registration department:

Fax: (03) 8559 7371

The Royal Melbourne Hospital

Fax: (03) 9342 4234