Gastrointestinal Cancer

What is gastrointestinal cancer?

Gastrointestinal (GI) oncology specialises in detecting and managing malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract, including those of the pancreas, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, and biliary system. These malignancies, which include adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, sarcomas, and carcinoid tumours, can develop anywhere in the digestive tract. Diagnostic procedures, including endoscopy, biopsies, and imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans, are frequently used to identify GI malignancies.

Causes of gastrointestinal cancer

Although the precise causes of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer are not fully understood, it is thought that several variables, such as the following, increase the risk of GI cancer:

  • List ImageAge With age increased risk of gastrointestinal cancer, with most cases being discovered in those over fifty, occurs.
  • List ImageEnvironmental exposures The chance of getting GI cancer may be raised by exposure to specific chemicals and contaminants, such as tobacco smoke and unclean water.
  • List ImageGenetics An elevated risk of GI cancer is linked to specific genetic abnormalities and inherited genetic disorders.
  • List ImageLifestyle factors Smoking, binge drinking, and a diet heavy in red and processed meats are just a few lifestyle choices linked to a higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
  • List ImageMedical conditions GI cancer risk has been associated with several medical disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
  • List ImageOther risk factors Family history of the condition, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle are other risk factors for GI cancer.

It is critical to remember that many individuals with these risk factors never get GI cancer, and many others do not have identified risk factors. Further study is required to completely comprehend the underlying mechanisms involved in causing these tumours because not all causes of GI cancer are understood.

Types of gastrointestinal cancer

There are several types of gastrointestinal cancers that Dr Motilall treats, and these include:

  • List ImageAnal cancer Anus, or the entrance at the end of the digestive system, is where the tissues of the anus are affected by anal cancer.
  • List ImageBile duct cancer The bile ducts, tubes that deliver bile from the liver to the small intestine, are affected by bile duct cancer, also known as cholangiocarcinoma.
  • List ImageColon cancer The large intestine (colon) and rectum are both affected by the cancerous condition known as colon cancer. It is the third most prevalent cancer in the world.
  • List ImageGallbladder cancer The gallbladder, a little organ below the liver that stores and secretes bile into the small intestine, is prone to a rare malignancy called gallbladder cancer.
  • List ImageGastrointestinal stromal tumours A kind of cancer known as gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) affects the GI tract, which includes the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum. GISTs, categorised as soft tissue sarcoma, arise from cells called interstitial cells of Cajal in the GI tract's wall.
  • List ImageLiver cancer Hepatic cancer, commonly referred to as liver cancer, is a form of cancer that originates in the liver. Liver cancer is classified as either primary or secondary based on whether it starts in the liver or spreads from another area of the body.
  • List ImageOesophageal cancer The oesophagus, a muscular tube that transports food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach, is affected by oesophageal cancer. Oesophageal cancer comes in two primary forms: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma starts in the cells lining the upper section of the oesophagus, whereas adenocarcinoma starts in the cells that produce and secrete mucus in the lower region of the oesophagus.
  • List ImagePancreatic cancer The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen that generates hormones that control blood sugar levels and digestive enzymes. Pancreatic cancer refers to a specific type of cancer that impacts the pancreas.
  • List ImageRectal cancer The rectum, or the final few inches of the big intestine closest to the anus, is where rectal cancer
  • List ImageSmall intestinal cancer The long, skinny tube that links the stomach to the large intestine is the site of a rare malignancy known as small intestinal cancer.
  • List ImageStomach (gastric) cancer The lining of the stomach is where stomach cancer, sometimes referred to as gastric cancer, first appears.

Gastrointestinal cancer symptoms

Depending on the diagnosis and location of the disease, the signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer might differ. However, the following are typical signs and symptoms:

  • List ImageAbdominal pain or discomfort
  • List ImageAlteration in bowel routine
  • List ImageBloating
  • List ImageBlood in the stool
  • List ImageFatigue or weakness
  • List ImageHeartburn or indigestion
  • List ImageJaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • List ImageLoss of appetite
  • List ImageNausea and vomiting
  • List ImageUnexpected weight loss

It is important to note that noncancerous conditions can also cause these symptoms, so it is vital to see Dr Motilall for a proper diagnosis.

Gastrointestinal cancer treatment

Some common treatments for GI cancer include:

  • List ImageChemotherapy - Drugs are used to eradicate cancer cells and reduce tumour
  • List ImageImmunotherapy - This therapy aids in the body's immune system's battle against cancerous cells.
  • List ImageRadiation therapy - High-energy beams eradicate cancer cells and reduce tumour
  • List ImageSurgery - This is the most typical course of treatment for many kinds of GI cancer and may entail partial or whole organ removal.
  • List ImageTargeted therapy involves removing all or parts of the afflicted organs.

A combination of these therapies may be applied in some situations. In order to decide which line of action is best in each circumstance, it is crucial to discuss with a doctor all available treatments and any potential adverse effects. As the patient's condition and reaction to treatment are tracked over time, the treatment plan may also change.