Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery

Gastric cancer is a third in a rate of deaths of cancer. Together with intestinal and esophageal cancer as well as liver, pancreas and gallbladder malignant diseases it takes a huge segment in a field of oncologic diseases that has a collective name of gastrointestinal cancer. Treatment of gastric and stomach cancer is one of the main focuses of specialists of Cancer Center Braunschweig. Involving surgeons of General and Visceral Surgery Department as well as radiologists for Radiotherapy Department the center gives highly effective comprehensive service with accurate diagnostics and treatment according to the newest standards.

Gastrointestinal Cancer Types

Gastrointestinal cancer includes oncologic diseases of gastrointestinal tract as following:

  • Stomach cancer including gastric and esophageal cancer
  • Liver, pancreatic and gallbladder cancer
  • Small intestinal cancer
  • Large intestinal cancer (including colorectal and anal cancer)

Gastric and Esophageal Cancer Symptoms

Gastroesophageal cancer is a cancer of upper digestive tract. Diseases of esophagus and stomach are closely related one to another. The most common type of gastroesophageal cancer is adenocarcinoma; then, it follows by lymphoma, a type of cancer that affect lymph nodes; and, then, you could name such kinds of malignancies as gastrointestinal stromal tumors, carcinoids, squamos cells carcinoids and some others tumors.

One of the main problems of gastric and esophageal cancers is that they may cause no symptoms until the latest stages. The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Blood in stool or bleeding from esophagus

All of above symptoms are unspecific symptoms that can be related to various stomach diseases, so if you have any it is better to see a doctor for accurate diagnostic.

With esophageal cancer you may also have difficulty with swallowing and effect of food getting stuck to esophagus.

Risk Factors of Gastric and Esophageal Cancer

Among the risk factors of Gastroesophageal cancer the most common are:

  • Age older than 50
  • Gender: men have higher risk of gastroesophageal cancer
  • Smoking and consuming alcohol
  • Wrong diet including smoked salty food, pickles, nitrates and nitrites
  • Genetic factors as heaving relatives with stomach or colon cancer
  • Helicobacter pylori infection

Some reports claim that gastric bypass increase a risk of gastric cancer.

Surgical Treatment of Esophagogastric Cancer

Choosing a kind of treatment depends on cancer type but the most common in early stages is surgery. There are a few types of operations performed based on area and extent of disease:

  • Total gastrectomy. Total removal of the stomach is indicated surgery for gastric cancer in case of diffused form of disease, when cancerous cells are widely spread over the whole inner layer of the stomach. Disease of this type is called Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC). Some other types of stomach cancer also may require total gastrectomy.
  • Partial (subtotal) gastrectomy. When possible, doctors try to avoid total gastrectomy, as it limits digestive function. Partial gastrectomy is removal of a diseased portion of the stomach, more often, a lower part, where the stomach meets small intestine.
  • Esophagogastrectomy, or esophageal resection. Removal a part of the esophagus is used when cancer is found in esophagus or gastroesophageal junction. In the last case, an upper part of the stomach is also removed together with surrounding lymph nodes.
  • Lymph nodes dissection. Dissection is a procedure done both for esophageal and gastric cancer.
  • Mucosal resection. At the very early stage of esophageal cancer mucosal resection may be decided to remove a thin layer containing malignant cells. The procedure also may be used for diagnostics purposes. Normally it is done by endoscopic method.

Minimally invasive gastroesophageal surgery

Minimally invasive esophageal and gastric surgery is growing more popular. Though having nearly the same results as conventional technique it provides less body damage and shorter recovery time. Minimally invasive methods are used not only for mucosal resection and esophagectomy but even for gastrectomy reducing postoperative complications. It is also used for palliative treatment in advanced stages of gastric cancer.

In some cases, robotic surgery can be performed. Da Vinci® system is widely applied for esophageal cancer. Robotic procedure allows removing mucosa with unbeaten accuracy and requires just a couple of small cuts. A surgeon controls a process by means of computer and can see multiplied image of the area of operation.

Ask Experts on Gastric Cancer

Advantage of team work is that it is possible to involve experts in different fields of oncology and related medical areas. We provide you with high level of service taking into consideration your personal situation. In our interrelated clinics and centers we have all the conditions for diagnostic according to the modern standards and treatment with better surgeon and supporting staff. If you consider on having surgery in Germany please contact Clinic of Braunschweig and we give you all further details and recommendations.

Cancer Center
Chief Physician

Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery

Professor MD Wolfgang Hoffmann

Chief Physician

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