Gastrointestinal and Colorectal Cancers

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is 25-foot-long track that extends from the mouth to the anus. Everything you eat passes through the esophagus and gets processed in the stomach and small intestines to extract nutrients,and the waste is removed from body by colon and rectum. Sometimes, a tumor can form in one of these organs, causes abnormal cells to grow. It may be due to lifestyle conditions to genetics to underlying conditions

Common GI cancers seen in Indian population are cancers of large intestine , gall bladder , stomach , pancreas , esophagus amongst others.. Treatments are more effective when the cancer is detected at an early stage—which, unfortunately, can be a challenge.

“GI cancers In general should be suspected in an older patient with unintentional significant loss of weight ( >5 kgs in one months , >10 kgs in 3 months) associated with severe loss of appetite.

The good news is that healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk for GI cancer.

Treatment of GI cancers depends upon the type and stages of cancers

  •  A surgical oncologist will diagnose the stage of the cancer
  •  Explaining of best treatment available
  •  Endoscopy , Colonoscopy, CT Scan and MRI for diagnosing the different cancer
  •  Removal of tumors and tissues around nearby area through surgery

Risk Factors of Gastric Cancer

  •  Infection with helicobacter pylori virus
  •  Alcohol
  •  Smoking
  •  Excessive consumption of salted fish, pickled vegetables and cured meats
  •  Obesity

Stomach Cancer Symptoms

  •  Difficulty in swallowing
  •  Feeling bloated after eating
  •  Feeling full after small food portions
  •  Heartburn
  •  Indigestion
  •  Nausea
  •  Stomach pain
  •  Unintentional weight loss
  •  Vomiting

Liver Cancer:

There are many conditions and diseases that affects overall health of your liver, some common liver diseases are fatty liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver and liver cirrhosis, If you are suffering from liver cirrhosis then your chances of getting liver cancer increases, if don’t get proper treatment of liver cirrhosis it may lead to liver cancer. Survival rate of liver cancer is about 70 to 80 % if diagnosed timely.

Gall bladder Cancer:

Gall bladder cancers are uncommon kind of cancers, this cancer is often seen with gall stones with no other signs or symptoms, this type of cancer is difficult to find in earlier stage that results in low survival rate. Gall bladder cancer is of hidden nature which is why cancer cells grow easily, only if your doctor is able to detect it in early stage then there are chances of survival.

Colon Cancer:

Abnormal growth in cells of large intestine results in colon cancer, conditions like crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis are one major cause of colon or rectum cancers, if you have family history of colon cancer than chances of having colon cancer increases. In the beginning of colon cancer there are not many visible signs , as cancer grows weight-loss, vomiting, jaundice, vomiting are some of the visible symptoms.

Esophageal Cancer:

Esophageal cancer is often diagnosed in later stages , Painful and difficult in swallowing is one of the main symptom of this cancer, some other symptoms are like weight loss, chest pain, heartburn . this cancer is usually a result of conditions like GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) , while some of the major risk factor are alcohol consumption , smoking and bile reflux.

Pancreatic Cancer:

Pancreatic cancer is one of the aggressive kind of cancer , often detected in later stages. Itching, change in urine color, pain in lower stomach or in the back are some of the symptoms of this cancer , while this symptoms can be associated with other diseases that’s why this cancer often not get diagnosed in early stages. Treatment for pancreatic cancer is surgery and radiation therapy.

Stomach Cancer:

Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer, some conditions like gastritis or long lasting anemia makes you prone to stomach cancer. Infections, smoking and unhealthy diet are also some risk factors of gastric cancer. Your doctor may diagnosis by biopsy and confirm if you have stomach cancer or not, while CT scan can confirm the size of tumor in your stomach which later can be removed by surgery.

Prevention to the development of these cancers

In general, leading a healthy lifestyle, weight control and reduction, avoidance of known risk factors is recommended. In addition timely management of premalignant condition associated with different GI Cancers is recommended. Avoiding exposure to different risk factors and understanding hereditary risk factors is important to reduce the incidence of GI Cancers.