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4 Endorsed Types of Gist Tumor Treatment Options

April 15, 2022
Est. Reading: 6 minutes

Gist Tumor Treatment – The digestive system, the gastrointestinal tract, is a series of organs that extracts nutrients from food and liquids to provide energy and sustenance for the body. The main organs of the gastrointestinal tract are the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine (colon). The gastrointestinal tract starts with the mouth and ends with the rectum and anus.

The stomach is a J-shaped sac located on the upper left side of the abdomen. The stomach mixes food with digestive juices to break down the food. The small intestine is a long, coiled tube located behind the stomach, absorbing nutrients from food and liquids. The large intestine is a smaller tube located just below the stomach. The large intestine absorbs water from digested food to form feces.

The mouth is the first part of the gastrointestinal tract. Food enters the mouth and gets chewed by the teeth. The food is then swallowed and goes down the esophagus to the stomach. The stomach muscles churn the food and digestive juices to break down the food. The food and liquids pass through the small intestine, where most nutrients are absorbed. The undigested material then passes into the large intestine, where water is absorbed—the remaining material excretes itself as feces through the rectum and anus.

Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract account for more than 1 million cases each year in the United States. Cancers of the stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum are the most common types of gastrointestinal tract cancers.

A tumor gist (gastrointestinal stromal tumor), also known just as a stromal tumor, is a rare, malignant tumor that develops from cells in the stomach wall. Tumor gist account for less than 1% of all cancers. A tumor gist grows slowly and may not cause any symptoms until it is significantly large. Gist tumors are treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Gist cancer is most commonly found in the stomach, but it also occurs in the small intestine, colon, and rectum. Gist cancer is more common in men than women. Gist tumors are more likely to occur in people over 50.

 

Types of Gist Tumors

Not all gastrointestinal stromal tumors are the same. Nearly all cancers in the GI tract, such as stomach, esophagus, rectum, and colon cancers, start in the gland cells lining most of the GI tract. These types of cancers that develop in these cells are called adenocarcinomas. Cancers most commonly develop between the esophagus and the anus in the GI tract.

Cancers that start in squamous cells are called squamous cell carcinomas. These cells are flat and line some parts of the GI tract.

Also present in the GI tract are neuroendocrine cells, similar to nerve cells and hormone-producing cells. Cancers developed from these cells go by neuroendocrine tumors, which are rare in the GI tract. A carcinoid tumor is an example of a neuroendocrine tumor in the GI tract.

Other types of Gist tumors include:

  • Leiomyosarcoma: This is a common type of Gist tumor. Leiomyosarcomas are tumors that arise from smooth muscle cells.
  • Liposarcoma: This is a rare type of Gist tumor. Liposarcomas are tumors that arise from fat cells.
  • Spindle Cell Tumor: A spindle cell tumor is the most common type of Gist tumor—this type of tumor consists of spindle-shaped cells.
  • Angiosarcomas: Blood vessel cell cancer.
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors: Cancer of cells that protect nerves.

 

Causes and Risk Factors of Gist Tumors

What causes stromal tumors is not known. However, some things may increase the risk of developing a Gist tumor. These include:

  • Age: Gist tumors are more common in people over 50 years.
  • Gender: Gist tumors are more common in men than women.
  • Location: Gist tumors can occur in the stomach, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
  • Radiation exposure: People exposed to radiation may be at increased risk for developing a Gist tumor.
  • History of cancer: People who have had ovarian cancer, breast cancer, or another type of cancer may be at an increased risk of developing a Gist tumor.
  • Family history: People with a family history of Gist tumors are at increased risk for developing the disease.
  • Gene mutation: People who have a gene mutation called c-kit are at increased risk for developing Gist tumors.

There are no sure ways to prevent a Gist tumor, but following the steps listed below may help reduce the risk. It is important to remember that these are only guidelines, and everyone’s risk for developing a stromal tumor may be different. Talk to a doctor if an individual has any questions or concerns about their risk of developing a Gist tumor. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for the people at risk of developing this disease to lower their chances. Many of these options include lifestyle changes and habits.

 

Gist tumor prevention includes:

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  • Quitting smoking: People who smoke are at increased risk of developing a stromal tumor.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight: People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk for developing a Gist tumor.
  • Exercising regularly: People who exercise regularly are at reduced risk for developing a Gist tumor.
  • Eating a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet may help reduce the risk of developing a Gist tumor.
  • Limiting radiation exposure.
  • Screening for ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and other types of cancer.
  • Getting regular checkups from a doctor.

If an individual has any of the risk factors listed above, they must talk to their doctor about the risk of developing a stromal tumor. A doctor helps understand the risk and may recommend screenings or other precautions to reduce their risk.

 

Diagnosing Gist Tumors

Gist tumors can be challenging to diagnose because they share some symptoms with other diseases. Diagnosing a Gist tumor often starts with a complete medical history and physical exam. The doctor asks about any symptoms an individual is experiencing and may do some tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, to help determine if a Gist tumor is present. To confirm a diagnosis of a Gist tumor, the doctor may need to do a biopsy.

Diagnosing Gist tumors include:

  • CT Scans: A CT scan is a type of x-ray that uses radiation to create pictures of the inside of the body. A CT scan helps determine if an individual has a Gist tumor and may show if cancer has spread to other body parts.
  • MRI: An MRI is a test that uses magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the inside of the body. An MRI helps determine if a Gist tumor is present and may show if cancer has spread to another part of the body.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy consists of removing a small part of the tissue from the tumor and examining it under a microscope—this aids in determining the type of tumor and how aggressive it is.
  • Upper Endoscopy: An upper endoscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, lighted tube to look at the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This procedure helps determine if a Gist tumor is present in these areas.
  • Colonoscopy: A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, lighted tube to look at the inside of the rectum and colon—this aids in determining if an individual has a Gist tumor located in these areas of the body.
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound: An endoscopic ultrasound is a procedure that uses a thin, lighted tube and sound waves to create pictures of the inside of the body. This procedure helps determine if a Gist tumor is present in the stomach or intestines.
  • Laboratory Tests on Biopsies: After the standard procedure of a biopsy, the doctor may send the tissue to a laboratory for further testing. This testing helps determine the type of tumor and how aggressive it is.

 

Symptoms of Gist Tumors

Symptoms of a Gist tumor vary depending on the location of the cancer. Small tumors often do not show any signs and only begin causing problems once they grow in size, making diagnosing people with this disease even more difficult than it already is. The most common symptoms are:

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  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling full quickly when eating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding from the rectum or stomach

People with Gist tumors may also experience other symptoms, such as:

gist Tumor, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, gist tumor treatment, stromal tumor

  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Pain when urinating

Individuals should see a doctor if they experience any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best prognosis and a better chance of living a long, healthy, and everyday life.

 

Gist Tumor Treatment

There are a few different options for Gist treatment. These options include:

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  • Surgery: Surgery is often the first treatment option for Gist tumors. The goal of surgery is to remove the cancer altogether.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to kill tumor cells.
  • Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs to attack specific proteins in tumor cells.
  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses radiation to kill tumor cells.

Individuals with Gist tumors often have a combination of these treatments. Treatment depends on the size, location, and stage of the tumor.

The prognosis for Gist tumors also varies depending on the size, location, and stage of the cancer. Small, localized tumors often have a good prognosis, while more extensive or more advanced tumors have a poorer prognosis. However, most individuals with Gist tumors lead a healthy and regular life with the correct treatment.

 

For more information on cancer treatments, visit Cancer Cell Treatment.

 

 

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