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Gastrointestinal Cancer

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Sandeep Jha 88% (404ratings)
DNB (Surgical gastroenterology, MS( General Surgery), MBBS, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery, Fellow of International College of Robotic Surgeons
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Delhi  •  13years experience
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I am Dr. Sandeep Jha, GI surgeon, Nirvan Superspeciality Clinic. Today I will talk about early diagnosis is the key to cure of GI cancer. So, what are the most common GI cancers seen in Indian patients? Who has large intestine, gallbladder, stomach, pancreas, esophagus? Cancer is commonly seen in a patient with liver cirrhosis. Causes are tobacco, alcohol, obesity, chronic inflammation. It can be seen in older age who suffers from significant weight loss means more than 5 kg weight loss in a month or more than 10 kg in 3 months. Living a healthy lifestyle, weight control, weight reduction, a healthy diet can help in preventing GI cancers. 

How to fight with cancer? Early diagnosis is best to prevent cancer. Surgeries are the best way to cure the disease. All cancers are not diagnosed at the early stages. Treatment can be done through chemotherapy and surgical treatment to remove that. CT scan and MRIs are done. Early diagnosis is best defense to prevent certain cancer death. So, what are the risk factors associated with it? Gallbladder cancer is very common in North India. It has a poor outcome. It makes your survival 6 months to 1 year without treatment. Liver cancer is common and it occurs in a patient with chronic liver disease. Colon and anorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, previous history of radiations are more prone to develop colorectal cancer. Symptoms are change in color of your stool like black, brown or red, poor bowel system, weight loss, lethargy etc. 

Colonoscopy and early diagnosis is essential. The common symptom is difficulty in swallowing and this is termed as dysphagia. If you have symptoms of gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease than you are in increased risk of esophageal cancer and same should be ruled out with the timely endoscopyPancreatic cancer can be present as jaundice, itching, dark color urine, change in color of stool. To confirm MRI and CT scan can be done. Patient may have anorexia i.e. loss of appetite, weight loss. Patient may see blood in vomiting, numbness and discomfort in upper abdomen. These should not be ignored in elder patient. Diagnosis can be done with biopsy. Endoscopy is a critical factor for diagnosis. Early diagnosis is essential for better survival.

Biopsy confirmation is mandatory. In liver cancer, typical features on CT scan and MRI is enough to proceed with curative surgeries without biopsy confirmation. A message I want to give that early diagnosis is essential, early visit to a doctor is suggested. CT scan and MRI is important for diagnosis on the slighter of suspicious. They will help us to catch the few cancer early and grants survival to the patient.

Thank You.

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