ONLINE: Colon Cancer Q&A

ONLINE: Lunch 'N Learn with the Doctors: Colon Cancer

05/29/2020 | 12:00PM - 01:00PM

No Room required

Just for the Health of It

A recording of the talk is available at:

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

Click here for the flyer

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

Registration requested. Space limited.

Have a question for the doctors? We are accepting questions until May 26th. Submit your questions here:

Please note, the doctors presenting will not be able to offer personal medical advice to attendees during this program.

Nell Maloney Patel is double board certified in both Colon and Rectal Surgery and General Surgery. She is an expert in robotic and laparoscopic surgery and she is committed to offering minimally invasive approaches to patients whenever possible. She is one of the only surgeons in New Jersey who offers incisonless surgery for early rectal cancers and other conditions. Her clinical research focuses on developing methods of minimizing the stresses of surgery on patients and improving patients experience with surgery and their disease outcomes. She is also interested in surgical education and serves as the Program Director for the General Surgery Residency at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Maloney Patel received her medical degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine, and then completed her residency in General Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. She then went on to receive additional subspecialty training in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the John H. Stroger Hospital for Cook County in Chicago, Il. She has been in practice in New Jersey at Rutgers since completing her fellowship in 2007. She is the current president of the NJ Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Dr. Maloney Patel has been included numerous times in lists of the "Top Doctors" in Colon and Rectal Surgery in the New Jersey Monthly magazine, (an award which recognizes the physicians that other physicians determine to be the best in their respective fields). She was also named a woman of excellence in Union County for her leadership and commitment to the community. She lives in Central NJ with her husband and her two terrific kids.

Dr. Ira Merkel completed his Internal Medicine residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh where he was appointed an Assistant Professor of Medicine. He moved to NJ in 1995 joining RCHP and the faculty of RWJ Medical School, now Rutgers University School of Medicine where he holds an appointment as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and is involved in teaching and lecturing. Dr. Merkel is a member of several medical societies and holds fellowship positions in the American College of Physicians, American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterology Association. His personal interests include physical fitness, trying to keep up with his busy wife and 2 adult children, and pursuing his passion for collecting Superman memorabilia.

James Salwitz, MD received his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Rutgers Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the McGraw Medical Center of Northwestern University and his fellowship in Oncology at the Division of Cancer Treatment, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology, and Hospice & Palliative Medicine. Dr. Salwitz is also a clinical professor at Rutgers Medical School and holds leadership ppositions at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital; New Jersey Medical Society; Middlesex County Medical Society, and The Amy Feinman Behar Foundation for Cancer Prevention.

Dr. Joseph (Josh) Pepek received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Georgetown University. As an undergraduate, he played for Georgetown’s varsity baseball team. Dr. Pepek obtained his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine and afterwards served as a medical officer for the United States Navy. During his naval career, Dr. Pepek completed a surgery internship at Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA. He then deployed to Iraq with the U.S. Navy Seabees during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also was the medical officer for the Marine Corps Chemical Biological Incident Response Force in Indian Head, Maryland. Dr. Pepek then completed his radiation oncology residency at Duke University where he served as chief resident. He has presented his research at national meetings and has authored a number of peer reviewed journal articles.


Please note, the doctors presenting will not be able to offer personal medical advice to attendees during this program.

This event will be held on the Zoom platform. Please make sure you have the application installed on your computer, iOS, or Android device.


Please plan to join the meeting 10 minutes prior to the program so your device has time to connect.


  • To join our Zoom Meeting click on (or copy/paste) link:
  • Meeting ID: 998 9474 9107
  • Password: 170490
  • To dial-in via telephone for audio instead of joining the webinar: 929-436-2866



  • Your computer must have a monitor. You do not need a camera or microphone.
  • Click (or copy/paste) this link into a web browser to access the Zoom virtual meeting:
  • Zoom may ask you to download and install the application file for you to join the meeting. Download and install the file so you can connect to Zoom.
  • To hear the program, you can either use your computer’s speakers or call in using a telephone. Select which one you prefer.
  • If you have a camera & microphone, you will be muted during the program. You will be able to view the presentation and hear it, but you will not be seen or heard.
  • Have a question for the presenter? You can press the Chat button on the bottom of the screen and type you question in the lower right corner. You question will be answered at the end of the program.

Sponsored by Princeton Radiation Oncology; Regional Cancer Care Associates, Central Jersey; and the library's Just for the Health of It! initiative to promote community health and wellness.

ONLINE: Colon Cancer Q&A