Treating Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Close to Home

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are rare tumors that occur in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They start in special cells called the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), which are in the autonomic nervous system and coordinate the automatic movements of the GI tract. GISTs may occur anywhere along the length of the digestive tract from the esophagus to the anus. They occur most often in the stomach or small intestine, but they can be in the esophagus, colon and rectum.

GISTs are rare but are often most common in men, and diagnosed in people over the age of 50. Having neurofibromatosis is the biggest risk factor for GIST, but the tumors can be hereditary as well.

Unfortunately, there is no general screening test to check for GISTs. However, the earlier any tumor is discovered and treated, the better the chance of survival. If you notice possible signs or symptoms of GIST, discuss it with your doctor right away.

GIST symptoms can include: Abdominal discomfort or pain; Vomiting; Blood in stools or vomit; Fatigue due to anemia (low blood counts); Feeling full after eating only a small amount (early satiety); or Loss of appetite or weight loss

Through our partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, patients have access to the full spectrum of advanced treatment options including complex surgical techniques, clinical trials, precision medicine, immunotherapy, and innovative radiation therapy procedures.

To contact one of New Jersey’s best gastrointestinal cancer specialists call
844-CANCERNJ or 844-226-2376.

Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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