CANCER TYPES

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST)

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
  • Anemia
  • 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

Customized Care For the Body And The Mind

Discuss Your Custom Alternative Treatment Plan With Our Team Today

Testimonials

Hear from Our Patients

Peter Richardson

Peter Richardson

Peter Richardson was having significantly increasing pain in his stomach earlier in February. Following doctors orders for treating constipation, Peter took laxatives and pain killers for 5 months, but nothing was helping. When he went back to the doctor a second time they did a CT scan and found a large mass in his abdomen […]

Read Full Story

Marie Dueck

Marie Dueck

“The nurses… prayed with us during hard times.” Marie started experiencing pain in her stomach. When she visited her doctor in Belize, he prescribed medicine and said she should feel better in two weeks. Instead, she felt worse. She went to Mexico for more tests and was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Through research and asking friends […]

Read Full Story

Johnny Russell Jr

Johnny Russell Jr

“I am amazed at Dr. Bautista’s knowledge, we know the term doctor really means teacher.” Johnny had never been to Tijuana, Mexico prior to his visit at the Immunity Therapy Center, he is now in love with the city and the culture. After 3 weeks of treatment, Johnny was able to leave cancer free of […]

Read Full Story

Johnny Russell, Jr. | Follow Up

Johnny Russell, Jr. | Follow Up

This is Johnny’s 3rd follow up. He has been cancer free since June 2017 after being at ITC for two and a half weeks starting in May of 2017 with Myeloma Cancer. He decided to stay the full 6 weeks to get the full treatment and benefits of the therapies. Since then he maintains a […]

Read Full Story

Clara Kornelsen

Clara Kornelsen

9 years ago Clara Kornelsen came to ITC for treatment after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Although she was living in Canada at the time and healthcare was free, she felt it was the right thing to come to ITC for treatment. Today, Clara is “strong and healthy as ever” and thanks Dr. Bautista for […]

Read Full Story

Xiao Pei

Xiao Pei

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 […]

Read Full Story

Melissa Porter

Melissa Porter

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 […]

Read Full Story

Debbie Halper

Debbie Halper

“The Immunity Therapy Center Saved My Life and I Hope they Can Help You Too” On March 14th Debbie was diagnosed with a rare type of Ampullary and Liver Cancer. Her doctors told her that her diagnosis was essentially a death sentence. After some extensive research, Debbie discovered ITC online and decided it was worth […]

Read Full Story

Elaine Reimer

Elaine Reimer

Elaine arrived at Immunity Therapy Center for treatment in 2015, and she continues to share updates on her good health since returning home. We were so happy to receive this note: “Good Morning Dr. Bautista, It is now one year ago that I first came to your center. I often think back on my time […]

Read Full Story

Elaine Reimer | Follow Up

Elaine Reimer | Follow Up

Elaine received treatment at Immunity Therapy Center in the Spring of 2015 and 4 years later she remains Cancer Free and healthy! Elaine recently came back to visit with Dr. Bautista and his amazing staff and to give existing patients hope and support. Congrats on remaining Cancer Free Elaine!

Read Full Story

Discuss Your Alternative Cancer Treatment Options

Please fill out this confidential form and your Patient Advocate will contact you promptly to discuss a treatment plan.