Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Specialist in Merced, CA
If you have symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, pain in your stomach or breast bone, bloating after eating, nausea, stomach pain, or weight loss, get yourself checked at Dr. Alfred Johnson MD. Gastrointestinal Cancer impacts the gastrointestinal tract so get yourself checked if you feel anything. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341.
Table of Contents:
Where is gastrointestinal cancer located in the body?
What are the signs of gastrointestinal cancer?
How common is gastrointestinal cancer?
How is gastrointestinal cancer treated?
Gastrointestinal cancer is a group of cancers that affect the organs of the gastrointestinal tract. The organs in the gastrointestinal tract include the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, and anus. The common types of cancer found in the gastrointestinal tract include:
● Esophageal cancer
● Stomach cancer
● Small intestine cancer
● Colon cancer
● Rectal cancer
● Anal cancer
All types of cancer can spread to other parts of the body if not caught early. It is important to see a specialist if you have a family history of gastrointestinal cancer to learn what preventative measures are recommended.
The signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer vary depending on the stage and location of cancer, but some common symptoms include:
● Abdominal pain or discomfort
● Blood in the stool
● Constipation or diarrhea
● Loss of appetite and weight loss
● Nausea and vomiting
● Swelling or a lump in the abdomen
● Unexplained anemia, which is a low red blood cell count
Additional symptoms of esophageal cancer may include difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and heartburn. Symptoms of stomach cancer may include indigestion, abdominal pain, and nausea. Small intestine cancer may trigger symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, and diarrhea. Colon cancer may cause rectal bleeding, abdominal cramping, and changes in bowel habits. Symptoms of rectal cancer may include rectal bleeding and discomfort or pain during bowel movements. Anal cancer may cause anal itching, pain, or a lump near the anus.
It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms can also be caused by other, less serious health conditions. Consult your physician or a specialist if you have any persistent symptoms or concerns.
According to the American Cancer Society, gastrointestinal cancers are among the most common types of cancer worldwide. The incidence of these cancers varies depending on the type of cancer:
● Esophageal cancer is relatively rare, affecting an estimated 17,290 new cases in the United States in 2021.
● Stomach cancer is less common in the United States, with an estimated 26,500 new cases in 2021.
● Small intestine cancer is rare, with an estimated 7,180 new cases in the United States in 2021.
● Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States, with an estimated 147,950 new cases in 2021.
● Rectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and women in the United States, with an estimated 44,180 new cases in 2021.
● Anal cancer is relatively rare, with an estimated 8,540 new cases in the United States in 2021.
Early detection and treatment can greatly improve the chances of survival for gastrointestinal cancer patients. Therefore, regular screenings are recommended for people at high risk or over a certain age.
Treatment for gastrointestinal cancer depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Some common treatment options include:
● Surgery – Surgery is often the primary treatment for gastrointestinal cancer and may involve removing the cancerous portion of the organ, along with surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. Depending on the location and stage of cancer, the surgery may be done using traditional open surgery or minimally invasive techniques such as laparoscopic or robotic surgery.
● Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy may be given before or after surgery to shrink the tumor or to kill any remaining cancer cells. It can also be used as a palliative treatment to alleviate symptoms for patients with advanced cancer.
● Radiation therapy – Radiation therapy may be given before or after surgery, or as a palliative treatment for patients with advanced cancer.
● Targeted therapy – Targeted therapy uses drugs that specifically target certain molecules on the surface of cancer cells. This type of therapy is used for specific types of gastrointestinal cancer and may be used in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
● Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that helps the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Some gastrointestinal cancer patients may be eligible for immunotherapy as part of their treatment plan.
For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341. We serve patients from Merced CA, Atwater CA, Winton CA, Bear Creek CA, Planada CA, Le Grand CA, and Athlone CA.