Dr. Mary Kwaan graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Chemistry, obtained her MD from Harvard Medical School, and completed General Surgery training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. During residency, she obtained a Master’s in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She went on to complete a fellowship in Colon and Rectal Surgery at University of Minnesota, where she remained on faculty for another eight years. While there, she was awarded the Owen Wangensteen Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2017 and included in the Best Doctors/Best Doctors for Women List of Minnesota Monthly Magazine for six consecutive years. She recently joined the faculty at UCLA as an Associate Professor of Surgery in the section of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Her research interests include postoperative complications such as surgical site infection, urinary complications, and acute kidney injury, hospital readmissions, and disparities in surgical care. She serves on the editorial board of "Disease of the Colon and Rectum" and is reviewer for numerous other surgical journals.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in either your colon or your rectum. These make up the lower part of your digestive tract. In most cases cancer does not start in both the colon and rectum. But both types of cancer have a lot in common, so they are often called colorectal cancer. Learn more >
Crohn's disease occurs when there is redness and swelling (inflammation) and sores along your digestive tract. It is part of a group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Learn more >
Diverticular disease is an infection in the tiny pouches that some people get in their colon. The pouches are called diverticula. These pouches bulge out through weak spots in your colon. The pouches can become inflamed (red, swollen) or infected. Learn more >
Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Syndromes: Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is also known as familial polyposis coli, adenomatous polyposis coli, or Gardner syndrome. FAP is a syndrome characterized by a large number of benign polyps in the colon and rectum. Without treatment, a person with FAP has a nearly 100% risk of colorectal cancer. Learn more >
To determine if you might have anal cancer, you will need certain exams and tests to be sure. Diagnosing anal cancer starts with your healthcare provider asking you questions. You will be asked about your health history, your symptoms, risk factors, and family history of disease. He or she will also do a physical exam. This includes a digital rectal exam (DRE). During a DRE, your healthcare provider puts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. He or she checks for hard or lumpy areas. Learn more >
Ulcerative colitis is part of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is when the lining of your large intestine (the colon or large bowel) and your rectum become red and swollen or inflamed. In most cases the inflammation begins in your rectum and lower intestine and moves up to the whole colon. Learn more >