Gastroenterology refers to the study of organs associated with the processes of digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food and excretion of undigested food. This organ system forms a hollow tube that is in contact with the external atmosphere. Because of this, they are exposed to traumatic incidents as things from outside can enter the body and can sometimes cause damage. Usually the pH of the body is kept tightly in control and is around 7.35-7.45. But different organs of the digestive system have wide variations in their pH. The pH of the acid in stomach is around 1.5-3.5 whereas that of the intestine is in the range of 5.7-7.4 with different regions of the intestine having different pH. 

The gastrointestinal system consists of both the series of hollow organs and start from the mouth and goes up to anus with several accessory glands that add secretions to these hollow organs. The different organs are separated from each other at important locations by a sphincter and each is designed to serve an important and distinct function.

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NOTE: Above More accurate treatment cost estimates can be provided if medical reports are emailed to us or after the patient is examined by doctors after arrival at hospital in India and medical tests are done after admission.

Frequently asked questions about Gastroenterology Cancer

What are the treatment options for liver cancer in India?

The treatment is usually determined by the stage and extent of tumor. The usual treatment methods include:

  • Surgery which involves the surgical removal of tumor along with normal tissue from around the cancer is one of the mainstay of treatment. Liver transplant is an option for a small subset of patients with early-stage liver cancer.

Localized treatments that include the treatment of the cancer cells only sparing the normal cells. These include:

  • Heating cancer cells
  • Freezing cancer cells
  • Injecting alcohol in the tumor
  • Injecting chemotherapeutic drugs into the tumor
  • Placing beads filled with radiation in the liver
  • Radiation therapy that uses high powered energy sources such as X-rays and protons to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors
  • Targeted drug therapy which focusses on treating specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. 
  • Immunotherapy induces the immune system of the host to fight the cancer. This mode of treatment is usually reserved for patients having advanced form of liver cancer.
  • Chemotherapy uses cytotoxic drugs that attacks rapidly growing cancer as well as normal cells.

Is there treatment for liver cancer that cannot be surgically removed?

If the tumor cannot be resected, then drugs and radiation can be used. The drug used is levatinib.

What are the latest treatments for pancreatic cancer?

The advanced treatments include the use of targeted therapy. Since the genetic alterations of around 25% of patients is different, the researchers can study them by molecular cloning. Targeted therapy attacks only the cancer cells present, while sparing the normal cells.

Are there any alternative treatments for pancreatic cancer?

Alternative treatments may include use of traditional herbs and repurposed uses of the over-the-counter medications. These should be used along with the standard medical treatment and not as single mode of treatment.

Can pancreatic cancer be cured?

The treatment outcome depends on the stage and the extent of the tumor. Significant advances have been made that help to reduce morbidity and mortality from this cancer.

What are the treatments for advanced gastric cancer?

Depending on the stage, different types of strategies are used to treat the cancer. Surgery is the main form of treatment for Stage III cancer. Some may have their symptoms alleviated while some may be cured. Chemotherapy or radiation or both before the surgery might be used to shrink the tumor. This makes surgery easy and better prognosis.

Can stage 4 gastric cancer cured?

Stage IV cancer is usually not cured and treatment aims at relieving the symptoms to improve the QoL (Quality of Life) of the patient till he/she lives. This might involve surgery along with chemotherapy.

Is esophageal cancer curable?

The treatment outcome of any cancer usually depends on the stage at which the cancer has been detected and its extent that is whether it has spread to the neighbouring tissues. In case of esophageal cancer, the prognosis is usually poor and approximately 10% of the diagnosed patients survive for 5 years after the diagnosis. Total surgical resection of the tumor is possible only for around 50% of the patients that too with eventual complications like anastomotic fistulas, subphrenic abscesses and cardiopulmonary complications. When employing chemotherapy, significant reductions in the measurable size of tumors in 15-20% of patients on single agent and around 30-60% of patients given drug combinations where one of the drugs is platinum based (cisplatin, carboplatin, etc.)

How is colon cancer treated?

The treatment modalities depend on the stage and extent of the tumor. Early stage cancers can be treated by surgical removal of the cancerous tissue where chemotherapy and radiation may or may not be used. Advanced stages however have poor prognosis and treated by chemotherapy and radiation.

What foods can cause the development of colon cancer?

Diets high in fat and cholesterol, especially red meats (beef, lamb and pork) have been linked to the development of colon cancer. Processed meats are also shown to cause colon cancer.

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The major organs of the digestive system are:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Gall bladder
  • Pancreas
  • Intestine

Many a times, cancers can develop in these organs. Depending on the site and extent of tumor, the treatment can be devised and prognosis can be known. Liver and pancreatic cancers are usually dangerous if diagnosed in later stages. Liver has a complex system of lobules and hence it is very difficult to assess the stage of tumor in liver. 

The most common cancers of the gastrointestinal system are:

Esophageal tumors
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
Gastric tumors
  • Gastric adenoma
  • Gastric adenocarcinoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Neuroendocrine neoplasms
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Small intestine cancers

  • Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Tumors of the anal canal
  • Tumors of the appendix
  • Tumors of the peritoneal lining
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