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Gastrointestinal Cancer: An Overview

Gastrointestinal CancerThe incidence of gastrointestinal cancer is increasing. Reason being change in lifestyle, dietary habits, increased alcohol intake and smoking.The prognosis of gastrointestinal cancer patients is good if it is detected early and treated at early stage.Anorexia and weight loss are common symptom in cancer patients, along these symptoms with some GI symptoms if present should not be ignored and doctor should be consulted. There are various screening programmes for early detection of colo-rectal and liver cancer. These programmes are done for high risk patients. Screening Colonoscopy is done for patients with inflammatory bowel disease, family history of colo-rectal cancer diagnosed at early age. Regular ultrasound is done in chronic liver disease patients. Neo-adjuvant therapy for locally advance cancer of esophagus, rectum and pancreas has shown good result. Pre-operative biliary drainage is done in patients with high bilirubin who require liver resection

  • Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer

It include cancer of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and small intestine.Dysphagia, Vomitting,melena are common symptom. Upper GI Endoscopy is helpful for diagnosis. CECT chest and abdomen for staging.

  • Lower Gastrointestinal Cancer

Cancer of the colon and rectum are lower gastrointestinal cancer. Most common symaptoms are altered bowel habits, blood in stool. Diagnosis is made by Colonoscopy. CECT abdomen for staging.MRI is done for cancer rectum There is role of Neoadjuvant therapy in locally advance rectal cancer.Surgery is the treatment of choice if cancer is resectable

  • Hepato-Biliary GI Cancer

It include cancer of the liver, gallbladder, bile duct and pancreas. Patient have symptom of right sided pain abdomen with jaundice. CECT abdomen along with MRCP is helpful to delineate biliary anatomy

  • Symptoms of GI Cancer

Vomitting

It occur when there is obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. Obstruction distal to the bile duct opening causes billious vomitting. Obstruction proximal to it causes non-billious vomitting.Primary stomach cancer or small bowel cancer casues vomitting due to intrinsic mass which compromise the lumen. Gallbladder mass can cause external compression over the duodenum and antro-pyloric region resulting in gastric outlet obstruction

Dysphagia

Early and Common symptom of esophagus cancer. In patients with esophagus cancer patients have initial dysphagia to solid foods and gradually progress to liquid. This progressive dysphagia is indicative of any progressive mass lesion in the esophagus which is compomising the esophagus lumen and causing dysphagia

Jaundice

It occur when there is obstruction in the Common bile duct. Most common symptom of hepato-biliary gastrointestinal cancer symptom.This obstruction can be intrinsic due to bile duct cancer. It may be extrinsic due to external compression such as Gallbladder mass or pancreatic head mass causing external compression over the CBD. patient present with features of obstructive jaundice such as pale colored stool, dark urine and pruritus

It is passage of black tarrish colored stool. Melena indicate slow bleed in the GI tract. This bleed can originate at any site along the GI tract. Cancer stomach and peri-ampullary cancer and right sided colon cancer have a tendency to bleed. Sometimes patient have occult bleed and present with feature of anemia such as weakness/tiredness

Hematochezia

It is the passage of fresh blood per rectum. symptom of lower gastrointestinal tract cancer that is colo-rectal cancer

Anorexia and Weight Loss

These are common symptoms of any malignancy in our body

Dr Amit Jain MS MCh (GI Surgery) is Best Gastro Doctor in Delhi Noida Ghaziabad Indrapuram. Call us at 7351088686 for your queries. 

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