Gastrointestinal cancer refers to malignant conditions of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and accessory organs of digestion, including the esophagus, stomach, biliary system, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus.
Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is a fairly uncommon type of cancer. Around 7,000 people are diagnosed with it each year in the UK.
The initial symptoms of stomach cancer are vague and easy to mistake for other less serious conditions. They include:
- Persistent indigestion and heartburn
- Trapped wind and frequent burping
- Feeling very full or bloated after meals
- Persistent stomach pain
Symptoms of advanced stomach cancer can include:
- Blood in your stools, or black stools
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
As the early symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to those of many other conditions, the cancer is often advanced by the time it’s diagnosed. It’s therefore important to get any possible symptoms of stomach cancer checked by your GP as soon as possible. Do not wait to be seen.
Oesophageal cancer doesn’t usually have any symptoms at first. But as the cancer grows, it can cause a number of different symptoms, the most common being swallowing problems.
The cancer can narrow the oesophagus, making it difficult for food to pass down. It may feel as though food is getting stuck and sometimes swallowing may be uncomfortable or painful.
You may have to chew your food more thoroughly, or you can only eat soft foods. As the cancerous tumour increases in size, even liquids may become difficult to swallow.
Other symptoms of oesophageal cancer can include:
- Persistent indigestion or heartburn
- Bringing up food soon after eating
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Persistent vomiting pain or discomfort in your upper tummy, chest or back
- A persistent cough
- Tiredness, shortness of breath and pale skin
- Vomiting blood or coughing up blood - although this is uncommon It is important to seek medical advice if the following symptoms also occur
- Swallowing difficulties
- Heartburn on most days for three weeks or more
- Any other unusual or persistent symptoms.
These symptoms can be caused by a number of conditions and in many cases won’t be caused by cancer – but it’s a good idea to get them checked out.
Don't wait or suffer in silence. If you would like to make an appointment to discuss any of the above with one of our GPs or Consultant Specialists in this area please follow the options below.
Our Doctors will follow the approved NICE Guidelines when making any diagnosis.
If you would like to book an appointment or require further information on the available options, please do not hesitate to contact our private patient booking team via our online enquiry form.
Alternatively, email Kingsbridge Private Hospital