Gastrointestinal cancer also called by common people stomach cancer or gastric cancer is the one of the major cancer disease of most of the cancer patients. Most of the cancer centres are equipped to handle gastro cancer treatments in India. Since the availability of best cancer hospitals in India and also good stomach cancer specialist in India, it is not much expensive to treat the disease compare to other countries.
Although there are many types of cancer treatments are available for the Gastro intestinal cancer it is very important to know the type of the cancer and also the site of the cancer which will help us to know about the condition in depth and gives the clear understanding for the disease condition. There are many cancer surgeries but we should know what the necessity for the surgery is so that we can understand clearly when the doctors are explaining about the patient condition.
Gastro intestinal cancer is a word which is used for the group of cancers which is affecting the digestive system of the body. Esophagus, Gallbladder, Liver, Pancreas, Stomach and the bowel are the parts which are usually covered under the cancer of the gastro intestinal cancer.
Cancer of esophagus occurs more frequently compared to the previous years but the incidence is very low even now. The incidence is increasing with age. Sqamous cell carcinoma is the common cancer type of esophagus. It may result from severe reflux esophagitis. The basic cause of cancer is unknown. The predisposing factors are cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, chronic trauma, poor oral hygiene and very spicy foods. The malignant tumor usually appears as ulcerated lesions. The majority of the tumors are situated in the middle and lower portions of the esophagus. The most common symptom is progressive dysphagia and it will be expressed as the food is not passing down. Pain will develop in the later stages only. Barium swallow, bronchoscopy and esophagoscopy with biopsy are the specific diagnostic tool for the esophagus cancer. Surgical treatment includes esophagectomy, esophagogastrostomy and esophagoenterostomy. The palliative treatments are dilatation, stenting, gastrostomy and LASER therapy. Apart from this the radiation treatment will also be given.
Primary cancer of the gallbladder is very rare. The majority of gallbladder carcinomas are adenocarcinomas. Approximately 80% of patients with the gallbladder cancer will also have the gallstones. The early symptoms are sudden in onset and it will be very similar to the gall stones. The prognosis of the gallbladder cancer is very poor. The treatment options are mainly symptomatic and supportive. Surgical option is the removal of the tumor and the radiation, chemotherapy is very rarely used.
Primary cancer of liver is very rare and the metastatic cancer of the liver is very common and Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type. Liver is a very common site for the metastatic growth due to the high blood flow and the extensive capillary network. Hemorrhage and necrosis are most common. It is very difficult to diagnose the carcinoma of liver from Cirrhosis. Many symptoms are very similar to Cirrhosis. Patients frequently get pulmonary emboli. Liver scan, hepatic arterography, ERCP and liver biopsy are the common diagnostic tool. The management depends on the extent of the disease and the lobectomy can be done if the tumor involves in one lobe and surgical excision offers the only chance for cure of liver cancer.
The pancreas cancer is increasing now a day and the risks of pancreas cancer increases with age. Most of the tumors are adenocarcinomas and mostly it occurs in the head of the pancreas. When the tumor develops then the obstruction of common bile duct occurs thereby the patient develops jaundice. It is very difficult to differentiate the tumor from the chronic pancreatitis. Even though the cause of the pancreas cancer is unknown there seems to be some relationship between pancreatic cancer with diabetes mellitus and the chronic pancreatitis. Smoking is the main risk factor. The common symptoms are dull aching abdominal pain, weight loss, jaundice. Ultrasound, CT scan and the biopsies is the common diagnostic tool but the ERCP is the best diagnostic tool for identifying the cancer pancreas. The classic management is the radical pancreaticoduodenectomy. Sometimes a simple bypass procedure can also be performed to relieve the biliary obstruction but this is only a palliative procedure. Radiation therapy is mostly effective only for the pain relief.
Cancer of the stomach is typically in an advanced during the diagnosis and it is mostly not possible for surgical resection. Although the causative factor is not known it is believed that the smoking, highly salted or spiced food may produce the carcinogenic effect. There are certain predisposing factors like atrophic gastritis, pernicious anemia, benign gastric polyps and achlorhydria. The growth of the tumor is very sudden in onset and it may spread to the adjacent organs very easily because of the rich lymph present in the stomach. Symptoms are very common with certain other disease conditions. Early detection is very difficult because of the diversity of the symptoms. Anemia is a common problem with stomach cancer. The stool is positive for occult blood. The diagnostic studies may include laboratory analysis of blood, stool and the gastric secretions. Barium X-ray and the endoscopy are also performed. The common treatment option is the surgical resection. Blood transfusions are commonly depends on the severity of anemia. Subtotal gastrectomy or the total gastrectomy is the surgical options for the stomach cancer. The other options are Radiation and Chemo Therapy or the combination of Radiation and Chemo therapy will be done depending on the patient’s extent of the disease.
Bowel cancers are commonly the cancer of colon and rectum. The site of the colon cancer varies. The causes are unknown like the other type of cancer but the diet is the most important environmental factor which is associated with colorectal type of cancer. Adenocarcinoma is the common type of cancer. Mostly it will originate as polyps only. Mostly the colorectal tumor will spread to liver through the portal vein. Rectal bleeding is the most common symptom in this type of cancer. Vague abdominal discomfort, iron deficiency anemia may be present because of bleeding. Digital rectal examination is the important tool since the rectal cancers are within the reach of the fingers. Blood investigations, CT abdomen, Stool occult, barium enema, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy will also be done. Surgical removal of the primary lesion is done in stages. Endoscopic polypectomy is a very safe procedure for this type. The option of surgery is totally proportionate with the patient condition. Hemicolectomy, abdominal perineal resection is the procedures which are done depending on the location of the tumors.