Gastro-Intestinal Cancer


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Gastro-Intestinal Cancer 

Gastro-intestinal (GI) cancer include common cancers like – cancer of esophagus (food pipe), cancer of stomach, gall bladder cancer, colo-rectal cancer. These are among the commonest cancer affecting the north Indian population. These cancers are caused by three common factors – Our life style, Addiction to smoking and alcohol, and our food habits.

  • Symptoms
  • Treatment

What are the symptoms of GI Cancer?

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Blood in vomitus
  • New onset symptoms of acid peptic disease after the age of 50
  • Alteration in bowel habits – constipation or diarrhea
  • Blood in stools

How can these cancers be diagnosed?

Patient having any of the above symptoms should consultant a cancer specialist and these cancers can be diagnosed by Endoscopy. Endoscopy is a technology which helps actual visualization of the esophagus, stomach, colon and rectum. It also helps in obtaining biopsy for any suspicious lesion. 

What are the treatment modalities in GI cancers?

Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer treatment requires a multimodality approach. It necessitates a dedicated oncology team that consists of Surgical, Medical and Radiation Oncologist, also included in them are the onco-pathologist and radiologist. Every patient is discussed in tumor board formed by the above-mentioned specialty and the optimum outcome with least morbidity is decided according to international guidelines.

Are there any advances in cancer surgery for the treatment of GI tumors?

There are lot of advances in the surgical aspect for the treatment of GI cancer, with the whole gamut of advance Laparoscopic surgery. It has been demonstrated in various multinational trials that laparoscopic surgery, also known as minimally invasive surgery or key hole surgery, is equivalent to open surgery in terms of patient benefit and oncological safety for GI cancers.

What are the advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery?

  • It is minimally invasive so less painful.
  • Post-op recovery of bowel function is quick, so patient can commence oral intake early.
  • It is almost scar less and hence cosmetically better.
  • Patient is discharged home early after laparoscopic surgery and hence psychologically better.
  • As the recovery is speedy, patient can timely start adjuvant treatment either chemotherapy or radiotherapy which almost all GI cancer patient requires.

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