Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is a term used for the group of cancers that affect the gastrointestinal tract and other organs within the digestive system. The most common sites of GI cancer start in the colon (large intestine), rectum, esophagus, pancreas, stomach, and liver. Other common locations include the gallbladder, biliary system, and small intestine.
Regardless of whether you've been recently diagnosed with a gastrointestinal cancer or if you're looking for a second opinion, clinical trial, or additional information, the oncologists at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute are ready to help you get through the next steps.
A gastrointestinal cancer diagnosis can leave you full of questions and feeling overwhelmed. Our team at WVCI created a guide to help prepare you for your first medical oncology appointment. Hopefully, it will also help ease your mind about what you can expect.
Click to learn more about the diagnosis, staging, and treatment options for these common types of GI cancers.
Gallbladder or biliary tract cancers are rare cancers usually diagnosed late due to the lack of early signs and symptoms. It isn’t unusual for gallbladder cancer to be diagnosed only after the gallbladder is checked for gallstones or removed. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ located next to the liver. Its role is to store bile, a fluid that aids with digestion and fat absorption in the small intestine.
Biliary tract cancer (also known as cholangiocarcinoma) is cancer in the bile ducts (tubes that transport bile from the liver). Biliary tract cancer can form anywhere along the bile ducts.
Cancer in the small intestine is also called small bowel cancer and it occurs in the small intestine— a long tube that carries digested food between the stomach and the large intestine (colon). Small intestine cancer often begins with non-cancerous polyps, which over time, can change into cancer. Because the small intestine contains many different types of cells, different types of cancer can start there.
Common treatments for GI cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy. All cancer diagnoses are different and not every patient receives all of these treatments. Typically, an oncologist creates a cancer care plan that includes several of these, depending on the specific GI cancer, its stage, and the patient's overall health. Our cancer care specialists are dedicated to helping gastrointestinal cancer patients throughout Willamette Valley.
When you’re ready, click the button to make an appointment with one of our cancer care specialists. We are dedicated to helping patients throughout Willamette Valley - including Albany, Corvallis, Eugene, Florence, Lincoln City, and Newport, Oregon. Request an appointment with our GI cancer doctors to discuss your individual situation or any questions you have.