Gastrointestinal Cancers

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What is cancer? Common cancers of the gastro intestinal tract

What is cancer?

Cells are the smallest unit that make up the organs and tissues. They divide and multiply to make new cells in a controlled manner. Thats is the way our body, organs and tissues grow heal and repair. Cells are instructed by many ways in our body about when to divide, grow, stop growing and die. Healthy cells will follow these instructions and behave accordingly.

Sometimes cells may ignore some instructions that are given to them and multiply to cause a lump but they will not invade any other healthy cells or tissues. They also will not detach and go anywhere. Therefore they only press against the healthy tissues. These are usually called benign tumour or non cancerous lumps. They are not very dangerous usually.

In cancer, cell becomes abnormal and doesn't listen to the instruction given to them and keeps dividing making more and more abnormal cells. These eventually form a lump (tumour). Sometimes these cells detach and travel to distant areas of the body via blood or lymph and get deposited in a far away place from where they originally born to make a new tumour - a metastasis. These cells also does not respect other healthy cells and tissues and cause invasion and damage resulting in all the deadly problems of cancer or a malignant tumour.

Doctors can tell if a lump is cancerous by removing a small part of tissue or cells from it and looking at it under a microscope. This is called a biopsy.

Common cancers of the gastro intestinal tract

  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Billiarry tree cancer
  • Small bowel cancer
  • Lymphoma in bowel
  • Anal cancer