Gastrointestinal cancer includes cancer of food pipe (Esophagus), stomach, colon (large intestine) and rectum.
Cancer of Esophagus & Stomach
In India, cancer of the esophagus is the third leading type of cancer among men and fourth leading type of cancer among women. Stomach cancer is also one of the leading cancers in India. Recent studies have shown that many patients have cancer at the point where the food pipe joins the stomach. In northeastern part of our country the incidence of stomach cancer is very high.
Common risk factors
• Smoking and consumption of alcohol
(A recent study from South India has shown that the risk for food pipe cancer is 3.5 times higher with alcohol consumption and 2.5 times higher for tobacco users, 2.8 times higher for betel nut chewers and smokers)
• Consumption of smoked meat, fish and use of pickled and high salted foods
• Infection with bacteria known as H.Pylori, which is known to cause ulcer of the stomach, is also associated with development of stomach cancer
• Recent study has shown that obesity is predisposing risk factor
Sign & Symptoms
Cancer of esophagus
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Regurgitation ( food coming back to mouth from stomach)
• Pain in the throat, in mid-chest or between shoulder blades are some common symptoms