MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s been one year since USA Health became the only health system in Alabama and the upper Gulf Coast region to become accredited by the National Accreditation Program of Rectal Cancer.

Specialists from multiple disciplines at USA Health meet virtually every other Thursday to review charts from patients who have been diagnosed with rectal cancer. According to a release from USA Health, rectal and colon cancer together are the fourth most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death.

Doctors treat rectal cancer by completing surgery to remove the rectum, some tissue and lymph nodes. Many patients require temporary or permanent ostomy pouches to get rid of their body waste.

“The NAPRC standards were created to ensure that not only is each patient’s cancer care tailored to their individual need, but also that the highest national evidence-based standards are upheld each time,” Leander Grimm, Jr., M.D., FACS, the Colon and Rectal Cancer Program leader at USA Health said. “Here at USA Health, the adoption of these rigorous standards and national recognition by the ACS CoC of us as the only accredited institution in the state and the upper Gulf Coast region have not only ensured that people in lower Alabama get the best care possible, but they also have led patients to seek their rectal cancer care with us.”