Cancers of GI Tract

GI cancers refers to a group of cancers that shows its impacts on the gastrointestinal tract and other organs of the digestive system of human body like the colon, pancreas, stomach, esophagus, small intestine. It is the third most common type of cancer.

Types of GI tract cancers

  • Rectal cancer and colon cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Anal cancer
  • Gallbladder and biliary tract cancer
  • Small intestine cancer
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors
  • Gastrointestinal cancer symptoms

Symptoms of gastrointestinal cancers

Usually, until cancer gets advanced a person does not experience any symptoms. The symptoms depended on the type of cancer majorly.

  • Swallowing disorder is common with esophageal cancer, ulcer with gastric cancer.
  • In the case of liver cancer and pancreatic cancer, people face abdominal pain.
  • Changes in bowel movement and bleeding occur in colorectal cancer.


Diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancer

If a patient is experiencing symptoms a specialist will ask for tests as it might be gastrointestinal cancer.

Test like:

  • EGD: esophagogastroduodenoscopy is done for checking the esophagus lining.
  • Colonoscopy for checking the rectum and colon as there might be polyps which may lead to cancer.
  • Tests for checking the changes in the blood as it might be a sign of cancer.
  • Imaging studies like CT scan, x-ray, MRI to check if there is any abnormal tissue in the digestive system.
  • Biopsy to get the sample of abnormal tissue and examine it to find the cancer cells.

Gastrointestinal cancers treatment

If the tumor is reachable then surgery alone is fine. When it is not easy to reach or its removal can severely impact the functioning of the gastrointestinal then therapies like radiation, chemotherapy is tried.

If surgery is performed for the removal of the tumor it also removes the surrounding tissues. For restoring the function of the stomach anastomosis is performed.

For cases where it is not easy to treat gastrointestinal cancer then doctors look for reducing the symptoms and focus less on curing the disease.