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Gastrointestinal Cancer

About the Department

A group of cancers that affects the digestive system is known as Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. This is a malignant state of the GI or the gastrointestinal tract that also includes other digestive organs such as the stomach, esophagus, the biliary system, pancreas, small and large intestines, the rectum as well as the anus. 

Both men and women can be victims of gastrointestinal cancers. Symptoms are difficult to decipher but mostly relates to the organ that has been affected. One may experience difficulty in swallowing or passing stool, in addition to abnormal bleeding. Depending on the type and location of the cancerous cells, the treatment of the patient is formulated. The prognosis also depends on the stage of the cancer and if it has spread to any other tissues or organs in the body.

You may be surprised to know that GI cancers are responsible for the maximum number of fatalities in comparison to any other cancer today.

Since gastrointestinal cancers are really complex conditions, it affects every individual differently. The behaviour of the cells is variable from patient to patient and thus treatment has to be planned depending on the personalised needs of the patient. 

At Fortis, Bannerghatta, our objective is to deliver detection and diagnosis for gastrointestinal cancer that is effective. With our team of nationally well known specialists, we are able to recognize and comprehend cancer at biological and genetic levels. We aim to find the answer through the molecular code of the patient’s condition and exactly identify the reason behind the cancerous cells spreading in the body.

We also have a support team of sub specialists who are experts in their respective disciplines including surgery, radiation oncology, biological pathology, genetics and so on. They are continuously working towards their specialist field of gastrointestinal cancer management by researching innovative medical procedures, methods of prevention, diagnosis, therapy and remedial measures. 

At Fortis, we focus on 100% patient care and that encourages us to keep discovering, developing and delivering unique therapeutic options for gastrointestinal cancer patients. Sustaining our medical treatment, we have excellent guidance counsellors who will work with you and your family by providing mental support and emotional care to get through this difficult time.

Our collective expertise and energies are directed towards coming up with solutions that will improve your current health condition by way of faster response mechanisms, minimized side effects, thus giving you hope towards a healthier life in the coming future. 

Areas of Care

At Fortis Bannerghatta, we provide comprehensive detection, diagnosis and therapy service for a full range of gastrointestinal cancers. The range can be divided in to two categories depending on the location of the organs.

For organs located in the upper digestive tract:

•    Esophageal cancer
•    Stomach cancer
•    Appendix Cancer
•    Bile Duct Cancer
•    Pancreatic cancer
•    Liver cancer
•    Gallbladder cancer

For organs positioned in the lower digestive tract:

•    Colorectal cancer
•    Colon Cancer
•    Anal Cancer
•    Rectal Cancer
•    Renal Cancer
•    Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor

Our approach towards treatment for our gastrointestinal cancer patients are personalised keeping in mind the unique requirements of their health condition. With a truly multidisciplinary team, they will be there to support you from the very beginning through the phase of your diagnosis, right till the time when the cancer has gone into remission. 

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Signs and symptoms of Gastrointestinal cancer

The symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer may be variable depending on the category of cancer.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer:
To identify if it is stomach cancer, keep a look out for these symptoms:

  • If you are feeling tired
  • If you feel bloated post finishing your meals
  • If you are feeling too full in spite of having small meals
  • If you have constant heartburn followed by indigestion
  • If you experience nausea
  • If there is a persistent ache in your stomach
  • If you have suddenly lost a lot of weight

Symptoms of Pancreatic cancer:
You will find it difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer in its early stages due to the absence of significant symptoms. However, there are some signs that include:

  • If you are experiencing a searing ache in the upper portion of the stomach that is slowly radiating to your backside
  • If you feel a sudden loss of appetite
  • If you have experienced considerable weight loss in a short span of time
  • If you have been diagnosed with diabetes
  • If you find blood clots
  • If you have been experiencing depression
  • If you feel tired easily
  • If you observe that your skin is turning yellowish in colour

Symptoms of Gallbladder cancer:
The symptoms of gallbladder cancer include:

  • If you feel a persistent ache in the upper right hand side of your stomach
  • If you find abdominal bloating
  • If you are feeling feverish
  • If you observe that you are losing weight without any plausible reason
  • If you are feeling nauseous
  • If your skin and white of your eyes is yellowing

Symptoms of Rectal cancer:
The most common signs of rectal cancer include:

  • If you notice a distinct change in your bowel habits meaning you are frequently constipated or suffering from diarrhea
  • If find that you are experiencing pain in your bowel movements
  • If you see that your bowels are not emptying properly
  • If you observe dark or red blood in your stool
  • If you see mucus in your stool
  • If you notice that the size of your stool is narrowing like a pencil
  • If you experience constant abdominal pain
  • If you are facing iron deficiency
  • If you feel anaemic
  • If you have suddenly lost a lot of weight
  • If your feel tired and weak

Symptoms of Bile Duct cancer:
To recognise bile duct cancer, the signs include:

  • If your skin and white areas of the eyes are turning yellow
  • If your skin feels constantly itchy
  • If you observe that your stools are white in colour
  • If you feel tired
  • If you experience stomach pain
  • If you undergo a sudden bout of weight loss

If you notice that any one or more of these signs and symptoms are constantly persistent over a significant period of time, then it is best to consult your general physician. If there is a need for further screening, your physician will refer you to a gastroenterologist. 

Our Diagnostic Services

The second leading cause of death by cancer in the world is by gastrointestinal cancer. The reason behind this is that the condition can only be diagnosed in its advanced stages. There are research teams who are working on more sophisticated screening methods.

Diagnosing Stomach Cancer:
The screening tests required to diagnose stomach cancer are:

- Upper Endoscopy
- Biopsy
- Imaging Tests

  • CT Scans
  • X-rays
  • PET Scans

Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer:
If your specialist is suspecting pancreatic cancer, then he may prescribe the following diagnostic screenings:

- Imaging Tests

  • Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan
  • PET Scan

- Endoscopic Ultrasound
- Biopsy
- Blood Test: CA 19-9

Diagnosing Gallbladder Cancer:
Screening tests and procedures to detect gallbladder cancer comprise of:

- Blood Test
- Imaging Tests

  • Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan

- Laparoscopy
- Examination of the bile ducts

Diagnosing Rectal Cancer:
Detection of rectal cancer includes the following diagnostic tests:

- Colonoscopy
- Biopsy
- Complete Blood Count or CBC
- Carcinoembryonic antigen or CEA
- Chemistry Panel
- Imaging Tests

  • CT Scan of the Chest
  • MRI of the Pelvis region

Diagnosing Bile Duct Cancer:
You may undergo the following tests, if your specialist suspect bile duct cancer:
- Liver Function Test
- Tumour Market Test
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography or ERCP
- Imaging Tests

  • CT Scan
  • MRI Scan
  • MRCP Scan

- Biopsy 

At Fortis, the equipments used in conducting these diagnostic tests are modern and state-of the art. Maintaining high standards of accuracy in our diagnostic screenings also impacts the accuracy of our diagnosis too. 

Treatment Options

Our team of specialists at Fortis Bannerghatta have years of experience in treating the most complex cases of gastrointestinal cancers. By using the most advanced and modern clinical care, the specialists will chalk out your personal treatment plan. 

Standard methods of treating gastrointestinal cancers include:

  • Chemotherapy where our specialist oncologists will make use of drugs to destroy the cancerous cells in the body
  • Targeted therapy utilises drugs that target the specific cancerous genes, proteins of tissue environment that is contributing to the growth of cancer in the body
  • Surgical therapy uses minimally invasive methods to offer a quick recovery to cancer patients
  • Radiation therapy is used for treating multiple gastrointestinal cancers in combination with chemotherapy 

Being experienced in all types of gastrointestinal cancers, our team at Fortis will support you through your treatment path along with offering you a wide range of supportive clinical care and resources like dietary suggestions, lifestyle changes and integrated therapies. 

Our Team that cares

In collaboration with specialists from oncology, radiology, pathology, expert practice nurses who are adept at treating malignant gastrointestinal tumours, we will work towards fighting your condition with all that medicine has to offer. At Fortis Bannerghatta, we concentrate on the highest standards of patient care by using the most advanced therapies at our disposal. We will work towards bettering your quality of life throughout the treatment period and support you and your family through constant guidance even after you have gone home.