Gastrointestinal Cancers

Gastrointestinal cancers affect the digestive tract and associated organs of digestion -- the esophagus, liver, stomach, gall bladder, large and small intestines and rectum.

The Hartford HealthCare Digestive Health Center, working with the Cancer Institute, helps identify cases of gastrointestinal cancer, which are often linked to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic heartburn.


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Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Cancer

There are typically no symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer in the early stages.
As the disease progresses, symptoms can include:

  • Indigestion and stomach pain that worsens after you eat
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Feeling full after eating very little
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe and chronic heartburn or indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Blood in the stool
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Ascites, or a buildup of fluid in the abdomen
  • Trouble swallowing

Types of Gastrointestinal Cancer


Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Cancer

We use several procedures and tests diagnose the various types of gastrointestinal cancer, including:

  • Blood chemistry studies
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Upper GI series using a barium swallow
  • CT scan
  • Biopsy

Treating Gastrointestinal Cancer

Treatment for gastrointestinal cancer depends on the location of the disease and how advanced it is. Typically, we will treat with a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy. If your cancer has reached Stage IV, surgery usually is not the primary treatment.


Gastrointestinal Cancers 
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Locations

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65 Memorial Road Suite 410
West Hartford, CT 06107
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330 Western Boulevard Suite 103
Glastonbury, CT 06033
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Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center
Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center
79 Retreat Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
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Main
Main
435 Lewis Avenue Suite 200
Meriden, CT 06451
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Hartford HealthCare
Hartford HealthCare
584 Norwich Road Suite 200
Plainfield, CT 06374
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Medical Arts Building
Medical Arts Building
201 North Mountain Road Suite 202
Plainville, CT 06062
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Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute