About Gastrointestinal Tumors
A gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a type of soft-tissue sarcoma. While they can appear anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, they are most commonly found in the small intestine and the stomach. GISTs start in certain nerve cells in the lining of the digestive system. These cells are part of the autonomic nervous system and control various digestive processes, like moving food through the GI tract.
Gastrointestinal tumors are more common in those between the ages of 50 and 70, almost never occurring in people younger than 40. However, they can still potentially happen in people of any age.
Causes and Risk Factors
Much like other forms of cancer, gastrointestinal tumors are caused by mutations to your DNA that result in cancer cells growing out of control. This eventually results in growths, or tumors, that may spread to other parts of the body. The exact cause of this mutation is not currently known or understood.
While heredity may play a role in developing cancer cells in the GI tract, most GISTs are sporadic, meaning that they are not inherited. Certain inherited genetic syndromes may contribute to your risk of developing GISTs. Primary familial GIST syndrome leads to an increased risk of gastrointestinal tumors and may result in GISTs developing at a younger age than usual. Carney-Stratakis syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1 may also increase the risk of developing gastrointestinal tumors.
There are otherwise very few known risk factors for gastrointestinal tumors. As mentioned, age may play a role as gastrointestinal tumors are more common in people older than the age of 50.
Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
Smaller gastrointestinal tumors generally cause no symptoms and may grow so slowly that they don’t present any serious effects. Larger GISTs are usually noticeable when a patient vomits blood or has blood in their stool. Other common signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal tumors include:
- Abdominal pain
- A noticeable growth in the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unintended weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Problems with swallowing
If you feel like you, or a loved one you know, is experiencing any other these symptoms, please contact your trusted physician who can diagnose this disease promptly.
Diagnosing gastrointestinal tumors starts with questions about your medical history and a general physical exam to check for growths in the abdomen. From there, your doctor may perform imaging scans, like a CT scan or endoscopy, to get a better visual of your gastrointestinal tract. Your doctor may also order a biopsy, which is the best way to know for sure if an abnormal area is a GIST.
Following a positive diagnosis, the doctor will proceed to the staging process. The stage determines if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and helps the doctor determine the best course of action. Staging for gastrointestinal tumors involves the TNM system along with stages ranging from I to IV. The lower the number, the less the cancer has spread.
About Alternative Treatment for Gastrointestinal Tumors
Though chemotherapy and other typical clinical treatments are common when treating cancer cells, GISTs do not respond to chemotherapy. Therefore, surgery and targeted drug therapies are the main modes of treatment. However, these treatments are physically exhausting and come with a variety of negative side effects. Alternative cancer therapy on the other hand, offers a gentle, effective method for treating cancer without the risk of side effects or harming your immune system.
Immunity Therapy Center is a cancer treatment center dedicated to providing customized alternative treatment plans for gastrointestinal cancer. We work with you one-on-one to develop treatment options and create positive relationships that will support your healing process. We want to help you to fight this disease without the harshness of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Contact us to learn more and to receive your custom treatment plan.
Sources:Therapies we use
At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.
Customized Care For the Body And The Mind
Discuss Your Custom Alternative Treatment Plan With Our Team Today
Hear from Our Patients
Jack was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer and, as a result, was living his life in tremendous amounts of pain. It was Jack’s third time getting diagnosed with prostate cancer. Jack’s conventional doctor had put him through chemotherapy and other treatments but had begun to give up, telling Jack that his days were numbered. […]
Maria Petulla was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Maria’s life was affected by the cancer; she became partially disabled and was living her life in a tremendous amount of pain. The cancer was taking over her life. After waking up one day and feeling the pain spread to her face, Maria knew that she […]
Robert Gray from Ontario, Canada has been battling stage 4 neuroendocrine carcinoid cancer. He came to ITC looking for a solution to shrink and eliminate his tumors. He found a kind and caring team of doctors at ITC that could focus on his case. Dr. Bautista brought knowledge and understanding to his case and helped […]
Alexandria, a United States resident, was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in March. The disease came very suddenly. After living a very active lifestyle, she could no longer walk and took a turn for the worst. She knew that she had to receive quality care fast if she was going to recover. When she met […]
In 2015, Pamela was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer that escalated into Stage Four Breast Cancer. Along with her cancer, she also was dealing with infection and swelling on her chest and arm. After hearing about the success of integrative medicine over a conventional method, she knew that she wanted to start her journey […]
In 2019, Alberto was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer along with Pelvic Bone Metastasis. After attempting to treat his cancer from the mountains of Mexico, a family member came across Immunity Therapy Center and Alberto and his family decided it would be the best route forward. He began his journey at Immunity Therapy Center in late […]
“The approach they take here is to help the body, to strengthen the immune system, and to stimulate it, so that the body itself fights the disease” In 2018, Joseph Turkington’s health started to deteriorate. A usually healthy person, he began to have pains in his stomach area, pains so bad that he eventually decided […]
“ITC offers so many different therapies and none of them are painful at all. During my time at ITC my quality of life was not taken away from me [unlike with Chemotherapy] and my lymphoma shrank drastically” In 2016, Fouad Youssef discovered he had a lymphoma the size of his thumb knuckle under his arm. […]
When Xiao was diagnosed with stage 4 Lymphoma her pain was so bad she classified it at a level 10 every single day. After just a few days at Immunity Therapy Center her pain dropped to a 5, and after a full week she didn’t even need to take her pain medicine anymore. Xiao encourages […]
Prior to being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, Melissa Porter lead a very healthy lifestyle. While traveling in Costa Rica she found a lump in her right underarm that was found to be Cancerous. When Melissa returned home she researched a variety of alternative treatment options and after being told about Immunity Therapy Center by her […]