Gastrointestinal Cancers

Hematology and Oncology Specialists located in East Lansing and Charlotte, MI

Gastrointestinal Cancers services offered in East Lansing and Charlotte, MI

Gastrointestinal cancers affect the organs and tissues comprising your digestive system. If you have symptoms of cancer, Carol Rapson, MD, and Anthony Brandau, DO, of Red Cedar Oncology in East Lansing and Charlotte, Michigan, can help. They treat colorectal, liver, pancreatic, rectal, esophageal, and other gastrointestinal cancers using the most advanced therapies. To find out more about successful recovery from gastrointestinal cancer, call Red Cedar Oncology or book an appointment online today.

Gastrointestinal Cancers Q & A

What are gastrointestinal cancers?

Gastrointestinal cancers affect your digestive system, which includes the:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Gallbladder
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine (colon)
  • Rectum
  • Anus

These organs and tissues play important roles in digestion, from helping you break down food and extract nutrients to removing waste as stool.

Gastrointestinal cancers develop when cells in your digestive system mutate at the genetic level. These mutations make the cancer cells multiply quickly. Growths or tumors form because the rapidly increasing cancer cells don’t die after a set time like healthy cells.

 

What kind of gastrointestinal cancer might I get?

Cancer can affect any digestive system component, leading to:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Anal cancer

Your risk of gastrointestinal cancer rises with age. Other factors influencing your chances of developing gastrointestinal cancer include a family history of gastrointestinal cancers, smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

 

What symptoms do gastrointestinal cancers cause?

The symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer vary according to the kind of cancer you have. For example, rectal bleeding could indicate colorectal cancer, whereas esophageal cancer is more likely to cause dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Some symptoms that several gastrointestinal cancers share include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Appetite changes
  • Bloating
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Changes in bowel function
  • Chronic fatigue

In many cases, gastrointestinal cancer symptoms don’t develop until the disease reaches a more advanced stage. Therefore, if you have any symptoms, it’s vital to contact Red Cedar Oncology as soon as possible. By participating in screening programs, you can also identify cancer at a much earlier stage (when it’s easier to treat).

Diagnosing gastrointestinal cancer might involve having an endoscopic procedure that uses flexible pipes fitted with a light and a tiny camera. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is where the endoscope goes down your throat to check your stomach and small intestine. A colonoscopy provides a detailed view of your colon and rectum via your anus.

 

How are gastrointestinal cancers treated?

Red Cedar Oncology offers a selection of treatments for gastrointestinal cancer. The treatment options the oncologists will recommend for you depend on the type and stage of the cancer. They also consider your age and general health.

Treatments available for gastrointestinal cancer include:

  • Ablation or embolization
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Surgical tumor removal

Surgery is sometimes needed to remove sections of the bowel severely affected by cancer.

To benefit from comprehensive gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis and treatment, call Red Cedar Oncology or book an appointment online today.