Major Types of Gastrointestinal Cancer
Gastrointestinal cancers, also called GI cancers, effect the organs in your body that are a part of the digestive system. Types of GI cancer include esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, cancers of the small or large intestine, hepatobiliary cancer, neuroendocrine cancer, colorectal cancer and anal cancer. Treatment for these types of cancers can vary – Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center provides each patient with an individualized care plan for their specific type of cancer.
GI Cancer Care in Denver
As a patient at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, your nurse navigator will walk with you through your cancer journey, as well as a GI specialist and multidisciplinary review team to make sure you are getting the best possible treatment with your specific symptoms. Your care team will create an individualized care plan that may include innovative technology such as the new endoscopic treatment machine or robotic surgery.
Multi-Disciplinary Experts at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s
Because of the complexity of gastrointestinal cancer, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s in Denver has a group of expert physicians, the multi-disciplinary care team, who meet regularly to review each case of colon, rectal, esophageal, pancreatic or stomach cancer and develop a comprehensive care plan for the individual patient.
The program is designed to provide care that goes beyond just diagnosis and treatment. During meetings, physicians discuss individual patient management, go over findings and recommend therapies.
Members of a multi-disciplinary care team include:
- Gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in all aspects of the gastrointestinal system
- General surgeon: the doctor who will be performing surgery, if necessary
- Radiologist: physician who oversees any imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI or PET scan
- Pathologist: physician who reviews all tissue samples to provide diagnostic information that confirms the cancer and its staging
- Medical oncologist: works with you to explain the clinical options available and determines if chemotherapy is needed
- Radiation oncologist: works with you to explain the course of radiation therapy
- Oncology nurse navigator: oncology-certified nurse who acts as your first point-of-contact to guide you through the entirety of your cancer journey
Testing and Diagnosis
The expert physicians at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s provide advanced gastrointestinal cancer testing for diagnosis. Common GI cancer diagnostic tests include colonoscopies, endoscopies, blood tests, molecular or genetic testing and endoscopic ultrasounds, as well as CT scans, MRIs, PET scans and X-rays. It is important to remember that even though many types of cancers are considered gastrointestinal, the screening and diagnosis process can vary greatly.
Colorado GI Cancer Center, Rocky Mountain Cancer Center and SurgONE
As a part of the patient-centered care provided at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s, we have partnered with Colorado Gastroenterology, U.S. Oncology partner Rocky Mountain Cancer Center and SurgOne to provide the most extensive oncology services to all GI patients.