Gastrointestinal Cancers

Cancer that forms in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract is referred to as a gastrointestinal (GI) carcinoid tumor. The primary parts of the GI tract are the stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum with each performing a unique role from digesting food and absorbing nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) to passing waste material out of the body. GI carcinoid tumors form in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract occurring most often in the appendix, small intestine, or rectum. This type of tumor is rare and tends to grow very slowly but sometimes more than one GI tumor can form in the body.

Cancer Overview

While a specific lifestyle or physical characteristic does not induce gastrointestinal cancer, there are some risk factors that could predispose development of this disease such as atrophic gastritis or pernicious anemia. Prompt attention to any recurring and persistent symptoms along with awareness of family medical history are helpful to an early diagnosis.

Our expert oncologists have led advanced clinical gastrointestinal cancer research and conducted groundbreaking work including gastrointestinal tumors. As respected medical leaders, we have been recognized as pioneers in advanced gastrointestinal treatment having led numerous clinical trials. We have access to the most advanced gastrointestinal treatments for our patients.

Our Los Angeles physicians specialize in all facets of gastrointestinal cancer care from diagnosis to treatment and recovery. Compassion and mutual respect are essential for success in meeting all the dimensions of GI tract cancer care and our physicians partner with their patients throughout treatment encouraging them to participate in their own medical care and make informed decisions on gastrointestinal cancer.

GI Tract Tumor Symptoms

Symptoms of GI carcinoid tumors vary depending on where a tumor is located in the GI tract; however, symptoms are not noticeable in the early stages, but occasionally, tumors are found at the time of a medical exam or screening for another condition.

When symptoms manifest, they can include the following:GI Tract Tumor Doctors Los Angeles

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Change in stool color
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Heartburn

Treatment for GI Carcinoid Tumors

The main types of treatment for GI carcinoid tumors are:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery

In some cases when recommended, these treatments can be combined. Treatment options are influenced by:

  • Patient’s age and symptoms
  • Patient’s medical history/conditions
  • Tumor growth rate (spread to lymph nodes, liver, bones, or other organs)
  • Tumor size

Treatment options should always be discussed with the doctor including a conversation about treatment goals and possible side effects.

Our oncology specialist team collaborates with prominent pathologists, surgeons, radiologists, and radiation oncologists from institutions such as UCLA, USC, Stanford, M.D. Anderson, St. John’s and Cedars Sinai to develop and implement the most effective multi-modal treatment plan for each case. We develop a gastrointestinal treatment plan that considers the stage and grade of a tumor, previous treatments (if any), extent of the cancer, biopsy analysis and other unique factors. We partner with our patients to achieve the best solution for their cancer care.

Clinical Trials & Chemotherapy

Dr. Sant Chawla and the physicians at the Cancer Center of Southern California are actively involved in clinical trials of the newest drugs and team with experts for the best treatment plan for each individual. This experience allows them to provide their patients with the most advanced chemotherapy and clinical drug for gastrointestinal treatments available to date, that are tailored to each patient.

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Contact the Cancer Center Experts for More Information

The Cancer Center of Southern California is dedicated to the emotional and physical well-being of its patients. Our expert team of Los Angeles medical specialists carefully attends to the needs of each patient through our multi-modal treatment approach. Please contact our center at 310-552-9999 to schedule a consultation with one of our Los Angeles physicians.

Next, read about brain tumors.