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Friday, July 13, 2018

GIST Cancer Awareness

July 13th is the day set aside to help draw awareness to a type of cancer that affect the GI or digestive tract. Gastrointestinal Stronal Tumor is the complete name of the cancer and it affects the organs of the gastrointestinal tract including:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Gallbladder and bile ducts
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Small intestine
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Anus
  • Lining of the gut
The GI tract plays a central role in digesting food and liquid as well as processing waste. The system begins when food is swallowed and is pushed down a muscular like tube known as the esophagus before it enters the stomach. The stomach muscles mix with the food and release gastric juices that help to break down and digest food. 

The digested food then heads to the small intestine aka the small bowel. It is digested further before it is sent to the large intestine where waste is removed from the body. The first 5 or 6 feet of the large intestine makes up the colon, the rectum is the last 6 inches of the large intestine and finally it all ends at the anus.

Gastrointestinal Stronal Tumor (GIST) begins when healthy cells change and grow out of control. The growing cells accumulate and form a mass called a tumor. Tumors can be cancerous or benign.GIST tumors are known as soft tissue sarcomas as they develop in tissues that
support and connect the body. There was a time when GISTs were thought to be muscle or nerve tumors. Research has helped improve knowledge

Symptoms of GIST include:
  • tummy (abdominal) discomfort or pain.
  • blood in the stools (bowel motions) or vomit.
  • anaemia (low level of red blood cells)
  •  painless lump in the abdomen.
  • being sick (vomiting)
  • fatigue (tiredness and a feeling of weakness)
  • a high temperature (fever) and sweating at night.
  • weight loss.
According to those diagnosed with Gastrointestinal cancer between the years of 2003 and 2009 were estimated to be about 76% to live at least 5 years following treatment. If the tumor had not spread the survival rate was 91%

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