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Methodist Healthcare

Gastrointestinal cancer

Gastrointestinal cancers affect the digestive system. These can include esophageal, stomach, colon, rectal and pancreatic cancers.

Expert gastrointestinal cancer care in San Antonio

Methodist Healthcare is the leading provider in San Antonio for diagnosing and treating cancers within the digestive tract, including esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, gall bladder, liver, colorectal and anal cancers.

Methodist Hospital continuously diagnoses and treats more patients for GI cancer than any other cancer center in San Antonio. Our complex GI cancer program maintains the highest standards in the region, with personalized, compassionate care for patients on their journey from discovery to recovery.

For more information on our gastrointestinal cancer care, please call askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.

Our affiliated physicians offer leading-edge diagnostic techniques and treatment methods for GI cancers. Your road to recovery begins with the right diagnosis, delivered by dedicated pathologists, radiologists and gastroenterologists.

After diagnosis, our highly trained treatment team — including medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists and nurse navigators — works together to provide comprehensive, patient-centered treatment.

Advanced gastroenterology care

The South Texas Advanced Gastroenterology Center (STAGE Center) at Methodist Hospital specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders throughout the entire digestive tract. Our board-certified gastroenterology experts offer a variety of treatments and endoscopic procedures, including:

  • Endoscopic mucosal resection — This technique is used to remove cancerous or other abnormal lesions found in the digestive tract.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) — ERCP uses endoscopy and fluoroscopy to diagnose and treat biliary or pancreatic ductal system problems.
  • Endoluminal stenting — This endoscopic procedure involves the placement of a thin tube to manage a blockage in the GI tract, most commonly, large bowel obstructions.
  • Endoscopic ultrasounds (EUS) — EUS is a medical procedure in which endoscopy is combined with ultrasound to obtain images of the internal organs in the chest, abdomen and colon.
  • Radiofrequency ablation — Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure used to reduce pain from a specific area.

GI cancers we treat

Our surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists treat a variety of GI cancers, including:

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Hepatobiliary cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Peritoneal surface cancer
  • Retroperitoneal sarcomas

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most dangerous cancers due to the lack of detectable early warning signs in the body. It can spread quickly, especially in the early stages. You should speak with a trained specialist if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain that also reaches your back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant weight loss
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Our experts use the latest cancer research technology to detect pancreatic cancer. Tests may include ultrasounds, computerized imaging or biopsy exams.

If pancreatic cancer is detected and treatment becomes necessary, physicians will determine the right course of action based on the stage of the disease and the general health and age of the patient. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are all potential options for eliminating pancreatic cancer.

Stomach cancer

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, occurs when an abnormal growth of cells in the stomach forms a tumor. While the number of stomach cancer diagnoses has decreased in the past several years, it is important to reach out to your physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Feeling full after eating small quantities of food
  • Intense heartburn
  • Unrelenting and unexplained nausea
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Severe indigestion

Our skilled physicians perform the appropriate examinations to determine the presence of stomach cancer. Tests may include an upper endoscopy or imaging tests, in addition to a tissue sample from the suspected areas.

Treatment for stomach cancer is dependent on the stage of the cancer diagnosis. Doctors can remove early signs of cancer by eliminating the tumors from the stomach lining. In contrast, more severe stages of cancer may require a gastrectomy or removal of portions of the stomach.

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