Gastrointestinal oncology – an important subdiscipline of medicine, that specialises on the etiology and pathogenesis, diagnosis and prevention methods, and also conservative and surgical treatment of all types of tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.
Gastrointestinal oncology is studying lesions in the digestive tract of different nature, including benign and malignant tumors. Tumor lesions of the gastrointestinal tract can be localised in the following organs:
- small intestine and colon,
- the gallbladder and biliary tract.
Oncology of the digestive system is an among the main diseases of internal organs. Gastrointestinal cancers occur with equal frequency in men and women.
The classification of cancer pathology of the gastrointestinal tract
As in the gastrointestinal tract, depending on the anatomical localization of tumors are divided into:
- Cancer of the esophagus – can be ulcerative, nodular, infiltrating;
- Stomach cancer – a tumor originating from epithelial cells of the stomach mucous membrane. Cancer can originate from any area (cardia, on small or large curvature or the pylorus), and can metastasise (disseminate) to the esophagus, liver and lungs. It is the most common among cancers of the digestive tract;
- Pancreatic cancer – tumor originating from the epithelial cells of glandular tissue in the pancreatic duct . Predominantly affects patients of mature age;
- Cancer of the small intestine – tumor which is formed from small intestine tissues and can metastasize to nearby organs. Accounts only for 1% of the cases of gastrointestinal cancers.
- Colon cancer – tumor that develops from the mucous membrane of the colon wall. Usually it is located in the blind colon, sigmoid colon or in the rectum. The disease is most often diagnosed in older people.
Gastrointestinal oncology today is an ever evolving and improving medical science. During the many years of treatment and research activities a unique database diagnostics and treatment methods. Ways of treatment of the gastrointestinal tract cancers are improving all the time.
Possible causes of oncological diseases of the digestive tract
The exact causes of tumors in the gastrointestinal tract, as in the cases of other cancers, have not been established.
There are supposed risk factors, which might trigger the growth and malignization of tumors of the digestive tract:
- Helicobacter pylori – the most common cause of stomach ulcers. Studies have proven Helicobacter pylori influence on the development of gastric cancer;
- Unhealthy habits: the systematic use of alcohol and excessive smoking;
- Ingestion of large amounts animal fat;
- Age (older people are more predisposed to gastrointestinal cancer);
- Chronic diseases: pancreatitis, ulcers, gastritis, colitis;
- Regular consumption of foods, which includes a large quantity of artificial additives and colorings;
- Genetic predisposition – inherited diseases of the digestive tract;
- O (I) blood group.
Evaluation and diagnostics of gastrointestinal tract is pretty straightforward these days. Various studies and cancer markers are available, and can indicate with a high degree of accuracy locx
- Laboratory and instrumental methods of diagnostics: analysis of blood and urine, blood biochemical oncomarkers, X-ray of the chest, ultrasound of the liver and lymph nodes, spinal scintigraphy;
- Neoplasms of the esophagus are most often examined with: contrast radiographic studies, FES, CT and MRI;
- Stomach cancer – EGD biopsy with a mandatory five different places of the mucous membrane. Сontrast radiographic studies (CT) are aldo widely used
- Duodenum cancer – EGD, contrast radiographic studies;
- Pancreas, liver, gallbladder and bile ducts cancers – ultrasound, CT, X-rays;
- Cancer of the colon – with the assistance of irrigoscopy (rectum cancers – digital rectal examination).
- CT and PET-CT are used in almost all cases to determine the dissemination of the disease
Cancers of the digestive tract are a major group of neoplasms. Typically, cancer of the digestive tract quickly metastasizes and becomes advanced. However, although modern methods of treatment not always allow to achieve a complete recovery, they are capable of prolonging life significantly.
Surgery remains the main method of treatment in gastrointestinal oncology. Since the digestive tract has a very well developed network of vascular anastomoses, organ preservation surgeries are not always possible.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are an integral part of pre- and post surgical treatment.
Modern oncology clinics and centers offer their patients the highest quality of specialized cancer care. Medical staff has the highest skill level, providing efficient recommendations on the treatment and prevention of cancers – and overall, serves as the basis for the achievement of positive treatment dynamics and improvement of patient’s quality of life.