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CancerColon Cancer

Colon/Rectal

Colorectal cancer is one of the three most frequently diagnosed malignancies in the United States. The majority of colorectal cancers are known as adenocarcinoma; however, other tumors of the large bowel include anal carcinoma, lymphoma, leiomyosarcoma, malignant carcinoid tumor, and Kaposi's sarcoma.

FAA medical certification approval is based, among other things, on the likelihood for sudden or subtle incapacitation. Bowel obstruction or perforation may result in sudden incapacitation, while chronic anemia may present a more subtle risk for incapacitation. Undetected disease may result in the cancer spreading to the nervous system and brain, resulting in a seizure or other incapacitating neurological event. For these reasons, the FAA considers a diagnosis of colon cancer to be disqualifying and expects the pilot to self ground under FAR 61.53.

Some pilots who have had a colon cancer tumor totally resected (removed surgically) and who have completed all post-operative treatment (radiation or chemotherapy) may now be issued a medical certificate at the time of the FAA physical exam under a CACI (Conditions AME Can Issue) if they meet all the criteria outlined on the CACI worksheet.

For more complicated higher risk cases that don't qualify for a CACI, FAA will review the records for special issuance consideration. When you're ready to submit to the FAA, you will need to provide the following:

Hospital records, including: admission history and physical, all pre-op diagnostic study reports, operative reports, pathology reports, and discharge summary.

Current laboratory blood work including carcinoembryonic antigen and CBC.

For more advanced cancers, (Stage III or IV), oncology records including liver function tests, CT, brain MRI, colonoscopy or air contrast barium enema, and serum CEA measurement. Stage IV cancers will probably require three years of observation with no recurrence.

A detailed current status report from the treating physician, that includes date diagnosed, type of treatment(s) with start and completion dates, medication information, current condition, and prognosis.

How/Where to Submit to the FAA

Helps you find the contact information for submitting your medical records.

Updated November 15, 2017