Gastrointestinal Cancer



An abnormal growth of cells is seen in the inner lining of the rectum and/or colon. This growth is called a polyp. There are different types of polyps and some may turn into cancerous growth usually over a period of many years.

Factors that may cause a polyp to become cancerous-

  • If the polyp is larger than 1 cm
  • if the polyp is in a group of three or more polyps
  • if abnormal cells (dysplasia) are visible after removal of the polyp

Colorectal Cancer Spread:

A polyp in the colon or rectum starts to grow in the innermost layer and grows outward. The cancer cells grow into the lymphatic vessels or the blood vessels and travel to the nodes and other parts of the body. Depending on the stage of the colorectal cancer, the line of treatment can be determined.

Prevention and Screening

Screening the colon and rectum helps to catch the polyp in its early stage. Surgical removal of the same can prevent cancer to a very great extent. Regular screening helps in early diagnosis and prevent the spread that usually proves fatal.


There are many changes that may happen in the stomach lining and become cancerous. There maybe inflamed cells or fewer cells that may trigger the autoimmune reaction. The cells of the stomach lining may get replaced by the cells that look like intestinal lining. In both cases, the glands do not secrete the protective substance that protects the stomach lining, it may damage the cell DNA and progress to stomach cancer. Stomach cancer is the most commonest cancer in India with the highest morality rate.

Factors that may cause Stomach Cancer-

  • Women are more prone to stomach cancer than men
  • Usually, people above 60 years of age are diagnosed with stomach cancer
  • Alcohol (3 drinks per day) and tobacco use
  • Pernicious anemia where the body does not produce a substance called intrinsic factor that helps to absorb the vitamin B12 giving rise to autoimmune condition thereby increase in the risk of stomach cancer
  • Pylori infection
  • Obesity

Symptoms (list a few):

  • Loss of weight
  • Abdomen pain
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea/heartburn/indigestion
  • blood in stools
  • Black colored stools

Prevention and Screening

If you have some precancerous conditions, or risk factors, then go for stomach screening.