Gastrointestinal cancer has emerged as a most common cause of concern. It is a serious disease that occurs due to production of cancerous cells in digestive tract of an individual. These malignant cells multiply and spread throughout digestive system and lead to life-threatening conditions. In advanced stages, these cells may affect other body parts and eventually weaken entire body. Early diagnosis can help cure gastrointestinal cancer completely. Otherwise, it may prove fatal if prompt measures are not taken within right time.
Major Types of Gastrointestinal Cancer
Gastrointestinal cancer includes various cancers of digestive system. The following list gives out major types of gastrointestinal cancer.
● Esophageal Cancer – Esophagus is a long tube that provides a pathway from throat to stomach in an individual’s body. Esophageal cancer develops due to formation of abnormal cells in esophagus. Men are more prone to develop this disease.
● Stomach Cancer (Adenocarcinoma) – This cancer develops when malignant cells begin to multiply in outer lining of stomach region. It can affect anyone but men especially the ones who smoke are at a higher risk of getting cancer of stomach.
● Pancreatic Cancer – Healthy pancreas are responsible for maintaining sugar level in body of a person. Pancreatic cancer develops when abnormal cells start to accumulate and affect function of pancreas.
● Liver Cancer – It is a dreadful disease that occurs when harmful cells begin to grow in liver. People who drink alcohol in large amounts are at a greater risk of developing this disease.
● Gallbladder Cancer – Gallbladder is an important part of biliary system. Gallbladder cancer arises when it fails to work properly due to production of cancerous cells.
● Bowel or Colorectal Cancer – Bowel plays a crucial role in interlinking stomach with anus. Condition of colorectal or bowel cancer appears due to malignancy in cells present in large intestine (colon) and bowel (rectum).
● Anal Cancer – Anus is an excretory organ that is mainly responsible for removal of waste products from body. Anal cancer develops due to development of unhealthy and abnormal cells and tissues in anus. People who are affected by human papillomavirus (HPV) are at an increased risk of getting such type of cancer.
Exact cause which leads to development of gastrointestinal cancer is not found yet. However, medical experts believe that people who have a family history of this disease may fall prey to gastrointestinal cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Cancer
The given point describe some common signs and symptoms associated with gastrointestinal cancer.
● Persistent Indigestion – Patients with an underlying gastrointestinal cancer may experience a persistent indigestion problem.
● Nausea and Vomiting – Gastrointestinal cancer may lead to nausea and vomiting sensation. Patients may feel like throwing out the food they eat. They may feel stuffed even after eating small meal preparation.
● Unusual Stools – Patients may encounter unusual black colored or bloody stools due to presence of gastrointestinal cancer. They should seek a medical opinion as early as possible to avoid major health complications.
● Extreme Weakness – Patients may feel tired and extremely weak due to development of harmful cells. Constant fatigue or tiredness is a common indication of gastrointestinal cancer.
● Unexpected Weight Loss – Cancerous cells may adversely affect the entire body of patients and result in a sudden weight loss. Such patients should not delay and visit an experienced oncologist for a precise diagnosis.
● Jaundice – Jaundice refers to a health condition that leads to yellowing of skin and eyes. Patients experiencing this condition from more than two weeks must consult a cancer specialist.
An accurate diagnosis is important for ensuring desired outcomes following treatment for gastrointestinal cancer.
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Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Cancer
Patients will need to undergo the following diagnostic tests for complete evaluation of health status. They should search a well-experienced oncologist to increase the chances of successful recovery.
● Analysis of Medical History – Respective oncologists may ask regarding their symptoms during initial consultation. They may also request the patients to share medical history along with drugs and medicines they consume on a daily basis. In this way, they will get an idea of patient’s current situation.
● Imaging Tests – Oncologists may recommend imaging examinations such as barium x-rays, computed tomography (CT scan), positron emission tomography procedure (PET scan), and magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI scan). These tests give out details like degree of spread of cancer along with its type and location. It will considerably help the oncologists to outline a suitable treatment for patients.
● Endoscopy and Biopsy – Endoscopy can prove beneficial in terms of diagnosing the precise type of gastrointestinal cancer to a large extent. This procedure uses a special device called as an ‘endoscope’. An endoscope is a long and thin tube which has a camera on one edge. This instrument is inserted in patient’s body and internal condition is observed carefully with the help of images derived from camera. If oncologists suspect any problem, they remove a small tissue from the area and send it to a laboratory for further testing. This method of tissue removal and its thorough inspection is termed as ‘biopsy’.
● Blood Tests – Blood tests are capable of detecting the presence of cancerous cells in patient’s body. Therefore, respective surgeons may advise various blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Gastrointestinal Cancer
The given points elaborate most common treatment options for gastrointestinal cancer.
● Radiation Therapy – It is a medical procedure that uses high-intensity radiation to destroy or wipe out cancerous gastrointestinal tissues and cells. It is a painless treatment method for gastrointestinal cancer. During this procedure, patients are exposed to radiation Therapy. Respective doctors take various measures as healthy cells may also get affected along with cancerous cells. It ensures the growth of malignant cells and minimizes damage to healthy cells.
● Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy involves use of drugs and medicines to kill and stop the growth of cancerous gastrointestinal cells completely. Chemo drugs can be either given intravenously or orally. Respective surgeons may combine this procedure with radiation therapy to produce desired results.
● Gastrointestinal Surgery – Respective surgeons may decide to perform a surgery for removing the affected cancerous area. During a surgery, surgeons reach out to specific location and operate patients carefully. For example, if patient is suffering from stomach cancer, respective oncologist may take off entire stomach or only the region where cancer cells are present. In this way, patients can be relieved from the dreadful gastrointestinal cancer.
Risks and Complications Associated with Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery
There are certain risks and complications associated with gastrointestinal cancer surgery. The following list conveys most common complications linked to gastrointestinal surgery.
● Intense Pain – Patients may experience serious pain and uneasiness in postoperative period. Surgeons are likely to give medications to help them out.
● Damage to Healthy Tissues – Healthy tissues surrounding cancerous region may get damaged during gastrointestinal surgery.
● Infection – There is a major risk of getting a severe infection at incision site. However, surgeons will provide appropriate medicines to avoid such risks.
Recovery Following Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery
Patients may have to face pain and discomfort for few initial weeks. They should ask a caretaker or family member to assist them with self-care activities during healing phase. Patients may feel traumatized due to a major change in life. They should try to speak to loved ones and stay in a positive frame of mind. They should not lose hope and follow doctor’s instructions properly to get a smooth recovery. Full recovery is dependent on type of gastrointestinal cancer, respective surgical approach, and patient’s dedication towards following a healthy lifestyle.
Best Benefits of Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment in India with Travcure
Close association with hospitals equipped with state-of-the-art technology, high-quality cancer treatments at affordable prices, and compassionate attitude towards overseas patients have made Travcure Medical Tourism one of the leading healthcare facilitators across the globe. Travcure offers a large range of cancer treatments under the guidance of the best oncologists in India. Gastrointestinal cancer treatment cost in western nations can be quite expensive. Whereas, Travcure provides similar treatments at just one-third of the rates which normally developed countries demand. They help patients throughout their medical trip and stay in contact even after completion of treatment to ensure their safety. International patients willing to avail gastrointestinal cancer treatment in India can contact Travcure and take a free medical consultation before visiting India. Team Travcure works hard to bring a positive change in patient’s life by providing best possible medical provisions so that international patients fly back to their native land in a good health condition.