Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is a term used for the group of cancers that affect the gastrointestinal tract and other organs that are contained within the digestive system, including the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, anus, liver, biliary system, and small intestine.
Common Types of Gastrointestinal Cancers
Colon and Rectal Cancers
Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum. These two cancers are often grouped together because they share many similar features. Most colorectal cancers begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells, called polyps, on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Regular screening is recommended for prevention since polyps don’t usually produce symptoms.
Liver cancer starts in the cells of the liver. The liver, which is the largest internal organ, lies in the upper right portion of your abdomen, beneath your diaphragm and above your stomach. While other cancers can affect the liver, only cancers that actually start in the liver are considered liver cancer (called primary liver cancer). Hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the main type of liver cell (hepatocyte), is the most common type of liver cancer.
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, starts in the stomach. While stomach cancer can develop anywhere in the organ, most stomach cancers develop in the mucus-producing cells of the stomach’s inner lining. These cancers are called adenocarcinomas.
A cancer that occurs in the esophagus -- a hollow, muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. It is located behind the trachea (windpipe) and in front of the spine. The esophagus helps move the food you swallow from the back of the throat to the stomach for digestion.
Other Types of Gastrointestinal Cancers
- Anal Cancer
- Small Intestine Cancer
- Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)
- Gallblader & Biliary Tract Cancer