What is Gastrointestinal Cancer?Gastrointestinal Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment and Risks

Gastrointestinal cancer refers to a group of cancers that affects the digestive system which includes cancer of the bowels, gallbladder, liver, stomach, pancreas and esophagus.

To know more about gastrointestinal cancer symptoms, causes, risks and treatment options in India, fix an appointment for a consultation at Columbia Asia Hospital.

Types of Gastrointestinal Cancer

Bowel Cancer: Also known as colorectal cancer, it can develop anywhere in the small intestine, large intestine, sigmoid colon, rectum or anus. In some cases it shows up as a polyp. These are small growths that usually build up inside the rectum or colon. In terms of appearance, polyps look like small spots on the lining of the bowel. In some cases it may encircle the bowel or cause obstruction to the free flow of digested food

Gallbladder Cancer: The malignant cells develop in the tissue of the gallbladder. People suffering from this cancer are usually diagnosed only when the tumor is too large to remove surgically or when it has spread to other parts of the body.

Stomach Cancer: In most cases, cancer develops in the cells that line the mucosa of the stomach. Stomach cancer or gastric cancer develops very slowly and can often take years before any symptoms are experienced.

Liver Cancer: Liver is one of the key organs in our body. Sometimes a person is diagnosed with liver cancer when the liver cells become malignant and cancerous. Liver is also often susceptible to secondary cancer wherein it spreads from another organ such as the rectum or colon.

Pancreatic Cancer: This form of cancer develops on the lining of the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic cancer can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood or the lymphatic system. If detected earlier, surgery can be performed to remove the malignant tumor. Unfortunately, this is not always possible as pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed after it has spread to other organs and outlying tissues.

Esophageal cancer: This form of cancer develops in the esophagus, when the gland that produces mucus has malignant growth.

Gastrointestinal Cancer Causes & Risk

The exact cause of the mentioned types of gastrointestinal cancer is largely unknown. However, risk factors include excessive alcohol consumption; diet high in animal fat, obesity, increasing age and smoking. In addition, chronic pancreatitis and diet containing food that is extremely salty, cured, or poorly preserved.

Nevertheless it is important to remember that these are just generic risk factors.  There are many other causes that are disease specific and vary from one cancer to another.   

Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Cancer

Depending on the type, symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer differ. Symptoms usually include bloating, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, unintentional weight loss, abdominal pain, tenderness or discomfort, rectal bleeding, bloody stools and drastic changes in bowel habit. 

Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment

Treatment for gastrointestinal cancer usually depends on the type of cancer diagnosed, its stage, its development and other health factors of the patient. Generally, treatment includes surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.  

To know more about gastrointestinal cancer, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, you can consult the doctors at Columbia Asia Hospital India. 

Tags: Gastrointestinal cancer , Symptoms , Treatment , Risks , Bowel , gallbladder , stomach , Liver , esophageal

 

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