Digestive Cancers

Survival rates for sufferers of cancer have improved over the years because of two main factors:

    • Improved treatment methods.
    • Improved screening and monitoring, which help detect and begin treatment of the cancer earlier.

The prognosis for the sufferer is best when cancer is detected early and proper treatment begun as soon as possible. If cancer is detected early enough, then treatments have much better chances of success, driving the cancer into remission.

Diet and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing many forms of cancer, including some of the cancers discussed below. Even in cases where cancer is caught too late to be cured, a range of treatment options can still be effective in relieving the pain and symptoms that are caused by the cancer while also improving the quality of life for the sufferer.

Metastatic Cancers

These occur when cells from tumors in other parts of the body spread to other areas and organs. For example, Liver Cancer is often caused by when Colon, lung, and breast cancer cells spread to the Liver. In this cases, the cancer is named and treated according to the organ or area in which it began. For example, if the cancer started in the lung and spread to the Liver, then the cancer is called Metastatic Lung Cancer, and the cancer, even that part of the cancer in the Liver, will be treated as a lung cancer.

These sections and organs of the Digestive System are essential to digestion, and any loss of function of these organs can cause very serious health consequences, which in addition to the problems that cancers can cause, make these disorders very serious indeed.

Colon Cancer And Other Digestive Cancers include the following:

Colon Cancer

Cancer of the large intestine (also called the Colon). Rectal Cancer is cancer of the Colon’s lowest 6 inches. Both of these cancers are called Colorectal Cancer. Most Colon cancer begin as small, benign (noncancerous) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps, which produce no symptoms. However, these polyps may develop into cancer over time, and such cancer will cause changes in bowel habits, bloody stool, gas, and/or abdominal pain.

Esophageal Cancer

Cancer that starts the Esophagus, that causes a range of symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), sensations of food becoming stuck in the throat or chest, throat pain, weight loss, hiccups, hoarseness, and/or vomiting blood.

Gallbladder Cancer

Rare form of cancer that rarely produces symptoms in the early stages. Because of this, early Gallbladder Cancer is often discovered only when the gallbladder is removed as a treatment for gallstones. However, in later stages, this cancer can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes), unintended weight loss, and/or loss of appetite. Surgical removal of the gallbladder or the cancerous part of bile duct has been the main treatment for this cancer.

Liver Cancer

Cancer in the cells of the Liver. Most Liver Cancers are believed to be metastatic cancers, which occur when cells from tumors in other parts of the body spread to the Liver and other organs. Cancers of the Colon, lung, and breast commonly spread to the Liver. Primary Liver Cancer, that is cancer that starts in the Liver, is not common, and when it occurs it is rarely discovered early and usually doesn’t respond well to current treatments. As a result, the prognosis for people with Primary Liver Cancer is often poor.

The risks of developing Primary Liver Cancer can be greatly reduced by avoiding hepatitis infection and by avoiding scaring of the Liver (cirrhosis). Liver Cancer can cause abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes), unintended weight loss, and/or loss of appetite.

Oral And Throat Cancer

Includes cancer of the lips, mouth, tongue, gums, throat, and salivary glands. Periodic self-examination of the mouth is the best way to detect the early signs of oral and throat cancer. For example, is there a new lump in your mouth that doesn’t seem to be healing ? Many oral and throat cancers are advanced by the time medical advice is sought, because in early stages they produce no pain or they cause minor symptoms that are similar to other health problems, such as a toothache. The main symptoms of Oral And Throat Cancers include one or more of the following:

    o Bad breath,
    o Cheek thickening,
    o Difficulty chewing,
    o Difficulty moving the jaw,
    o Difficulty moving the tongue,
    o Difficulty swallowing,
    o Discoloration inside the mouth. e.g. white, red or dark patches.
    o Feeling like something is caught in the throat,
    o Loose teeth,
    o Lump in the neck,
    o Lumps in the mouth,
    o Mouth pain,
    o Mouth sores that increase in size or don’t heal,
    o Numb tongue,
    o Numbness in the mouth,
    o Pain in the jaw,
    o Pain in the teeth or gums,
    o Soreness in the throat,
    o Swelling in the jaw,
    o Voice changes

Pancreatic Cancer

A dangerous cancer that occurs when cancerous cells form in the tissues of the Pancreas. Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers because it spreads rapidly and produces few if any symptoms in the early stages, which usually means that it isn’t detected until it is quite advanced. By the time symptoms develop and the cancer is detected, it is likely to have spread to other parts of the body, eliminating surgical removal as a possible treatment. Pancreatic Cancer can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, itching, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes), unintended weight loss, and/or loss of appetite.

Stomach Cancer

Another dangerous cancer, because it produces few if any symptoms in the early stages, which usually means that it isn’t detected until it is quite advanced. By the time symptoms develop and the cancer is detected, it is likely to have spread to other parts of the body, eliminating surgical removal as a possible treatment.

Stomach Cancer is most common in areas where infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria is common and where the diet is high in salted, smoked, and pickled foods. This commonly occurs in areas that lack refrigeration as a means of preserving food, so they resort to age old methods of salting, smoking, and pickling their food. The symptoms of Stomach Cancer include discomfort in the middle or upper abdomen, abdominal discomfort that is aggravated by eating, black, tarry stools, vomiting blood, vomiting after meals, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, and loss of appetite.