Grateful for Expert Care to Treat Colon Cancer


Alexandra Columbus, MD, MPH, an experienced colorectal surgeon with Emerson Health Surgery, works closely with patients to remove their cancer, coordinate their treatment with the Mass General Cancer Center at Emerson – Bethke, and help them live healthy lives. Learn from patients Michele Gerhardt, Ed Snow, and Jimi Two Feathers about their experiences.


How was your experience?
When a colonoscopy revealed a tumor in my colon, my doctors acted quickly and referred me to Dr. Columbus. I love her. She is very clear, and she explains every step in detail. She did everything she said she would do. I had day surgery at Emerson to remove the cancer, and it went well. Now I feel good.

What do you want people to know?
Thankfully, my cancer was caught early. Never postpone your colonoscopy — take it seriously. Everyone I saw at Emerson Health was wonderful. Their experience and compassion got me through this very worrisome time.


How was your experience?
I had a screening colonoscopy that revealed a mass. Dr. Columbus sat down with my wife and I and drew a diagram to help us understand where the tumor was and what I could expect from surgery. She explained what was going to happen and she listened to my health wishes. Having this kind of respect and communication from a surgeon is reassuring. Dr. Columbus recommended I see an oncologist at Emerson, affiliated with Mass General. His expertise, too, was reassuring. I believe my recovery was a lot easier than I thought it would be because of the treatment I received at Emerson.

What do you want people to know?
Get your annual physicals and regular screenings. Emerson has everything you need as far as diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer. You may not know that Emerson’s Cancer Center is affiliated with Mass General. I found it a lot easier and more convenient than going to Boston. Dr. Columbus called me at home to discuss my treatment. This level of patient care is rare, but it is common at Emerson. You will be in great hands if you choose Emerson for your care.


How was your experience?
Everything went as it was supposed to. Dr. Columbus is amazing — we have a strong and very positive relationship. I am happy with my entire medical team and how organized they are. Dr. Columbus removed the mass, and I received chemotherapy in the Cancer Center right at Emerson. The team was excellent. Now it has been over a year. They continue to test me, and I am cancer-free since my surgery.

What do you want people to know?

People who do good work should be recognized. It is important to understand the positive impact of Emerson’s expertise and experienced doctors and nurses right here in our community. Thanks to Dr. Columbus, Dr. Jon DuBois, and the cancer team at Emerson, I am very active doing what I love, including flying radio-controlled planes.

Colonoscopies Save Lives — Make Your Appointment Today

A colonoscopy not only detects cancer, it can also prevent it by finding polyps, which could turn into cancer if not removed. For more information and to take a colon cancer risk quiz, visit the colorectal cancer page on our website.

Emerson’s Endoscopy & Digestive Health Center is a convenient and easy location for your screening colonoscopy. The comfortable and private outpatient setting is home to experienced doctors and staff. Learn more at

Dr. Columbus

Alexandra Columbus, MD, MPH, trained in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and completed her fellowship in colorectal surgery at Lahey Medical Center. She sees patients for general and colon surgery, including anorectal disease, colon cancer, rectal cancer, diverticular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and pelvic floor dysfunction.

Listen to this Health Works Here podcast to learn more about Dr. Columbus and the field of colorectal surgery.

For information and to make an appointment, call Emerson Health Surgery at 978-287-3547.

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