Gastrointestinal cancer, or GI cancer, refers to any form of digestive system cancer, including:
- Cancer of the esophagus
- Gallbladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Cancer of the small bowel
- Stomach cancer
- Anal cancer
- Colorectal cancer
GI Cancer Symptoms
GI cancer rarely produces symptoms in its early stages. As it progresses, symptoms may differ, depending on the type of cancer and which organs are affected. Our cancer specialists typically see the following symptoms of GI cancer:
- Stomach cramping, pain, or digestion problems
- Bloody or dark stool
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swollen abdomen
- Changes in bowel habits – diarrhea, constipation, changes in the stool’s consistency
- Jaundice – the eyes and skin become yellow
- Weight-loss or loss of appetite
One form of gastrointestinal cancer is a GIST tumor, or gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a type of tumor found in the GI tract. GIST tumors most often occur in the stomach or small intestine.
There are no known causes of GI cancer, but a healthy lifestyle can help prevent many gastrointestinal cancers. Risk factors can include obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, an unhealthy diet, and excessive use of alcohol. Family history may also be a factor in digestive health problems.
Treating Gastrointestinal Cancer
Some gastrointestinal cancers, such as colon and rectal cancer, can be diagnosed and treated successfully in their precancerous or early stages. Treatments for GI cancers vary with the organs affected and the type of cancer, but surgery is the treatment of choice for most GI cancers. The full range of cancer care provided at Bassett Healthcare Network’s Digestive Disease Center (GI Lab) includes:
Schedule an Appointment for Your Gastrointestinal Issues
Cancers of the digestive system can be treated and often cured. If you are experiencing symptoms of GI cancer, or are concerned about your digestive health, talk to your primary care practitioner or specialist about receiving a colon cancer screening, or call 1-800-BASSETT for a referral.
Bassett Healthcare Network’s experienced oncology team and GI specialists treat gastrointestinal cancer in Central New York, including our hospitals in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Herkimer, and beyond.