Gastrointestinal Cancer

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Every year 4,000 to 5,000 adults in the U.S are diagnosed with a Gastrointestinal tumor (Cancer.Net, 2014). Gastrointestinal cancer refers to cancers that typically affect the digestive system; this incorporates cancers of the oesophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bowel, and anus (GI Cancer Institute, 2012). Gastrointestinal cancers can be located in the upper digestive or lower digestive tract (Wikimedia Foundation, 2015). Specifically, cancers in the upper digestive tract include: esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, liver, gallbladder. Colon cancer is a type of Gastrointestinal cancer found in the lower part of the digestive system, as well as anal and colorectal cancer (Wikimedia Foundation, 2015). Colon cancer …show more content…
The first is Stage 0; this is where there are abnormal cells found in the lining of the colon (MD Anderson, n.d.). Second is Stage I, where the cancer is formed and has spread into the different layers of the rectal wall (MD Anderson, n.d.). In Stage II the cancer has spread into outside the rectal walls and into nearby tissues (MD Anderson, n.d.). Next is Stage III, the cancer has spread into the lymph nodes that are nearest (MD Anderson, n.d.). Lastly Stage IV, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body like the liver or lungs and also spread to other distant lymph nodes (MD Anderson, n.d.). Fortunately, there are many test that can help detect colon cancer or polyps that might cause it. The most common test is a Colonoscopy; this process uses a long tube, with a camera attached to it, to view the inside of the colon (Mayo Clinic, 2013). Surgical tools are able to pass through the tube, so tissues samples can be taken for analysis. (Mayo Clinic, 2013). Another test for Colon cancer is a CT colonography; this test takes multiple CT images to created a picture of your colon (Mayo Clinic, 2013). Doctors look at the CT image for abnormal lumps and polyps that could lead to cancer. Other diagnostic test for Colon Cancer include Double-contrast barium enema, Flexible sigmoidoscopy, Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test, Fecal immunochemical test, and a Stool DNA test (American Cancer …show more content…
New test such as Colon Cancer Assay, and Oncotype Dx, are being developed to monitor different genes in colon cancer tumors (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). As a result, this can help determine which patients have a higher risk of the cancer spreading (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). Researchers have also created a new test that discovers colon cancer that has spread in nearby lymph nodes (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). This is done by finding a type of RNA found in colon cancer but not in regular lymph node cells (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). In addition, this can help identify which patients might benefit from chemotherapy after surgery (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). Surgeons are also taking new approaches to surgery to make colon cancer surgery more successful, such as making sure to remove enough lymph nodes during operations (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). Moreover, researchers are trying to create vaccines to treat or even prevent colon cancer from coming back (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). The vaccines are supposed to boost the patient’s immune system to fight off colon cancer (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2012). In conclusion, Colon cancer is quite common in the U.S, but there are a variety of tests, treatment, and prevention methods available for everyone. Eventually,

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