Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer refers to cancers that affect the gastrointestinal tract and organs involved in digestions. This includes:
Esophagus: Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus. Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
Gallbladder: The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by your liver. Gallbladder cancer is uncommon, and sometimes difficult to diagnose because it often causes no specific signs or symptoms. Also, the relatively hidden nature of the gallbladder makes it easier for the cancer to grow without being detected. When gallbladder cancer is discovered at its earliest stages, the chance for a cure is very good.
Pancreas: Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help manage your blood sugar.Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas and typically spreads rapidly to nearby organs. One sign of pancreatic cancer is diabetes, especially when it occurs with weight loss, jaundice or pain in the upper abdomen that spreads to the back.
Liver: Several types of cancer can form in the liver. The most common type of liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte). Other types of liver cancer, such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, are much less common.
Stomach: Gastric cancer, or stomach cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the mucus-producing cells on the inside lining of the stomach. The most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma.
Small intestine: Your small intestine, which is also called the small bowel, is a long tube that carries digested food between your stomach and your large intestine (colon). Small bowel cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that occurs in the small intestine. Types of this cancer include
- Sarcoma, including gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
- Carcinoid tumors
Bowel (large intestine or colon and rectum): Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), which is the final part of your digestive tract. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, benign clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers.
Cancer inside the rectum (rectal cancer) and cancer inside the colon (colon cancer) are often referred to together as "colorectal cancer.” While rectal and colon cancers are similar in many ways, their treatments are quite different
Anus: Anal cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that occurs in the anal canal. Anal cancer can cause signs and symptoms such as rectal bleeding and anal pain. Most people with anal cancer are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation.