Review: Introduction to UGI Cancer

Here is what we have learned from Introduction to UGI Cancer:

  • Cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract represent the second most common site and cause of death among the digestive system cancers.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates during 2003 approximately 13,900 new esophageal cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States.
  • The two main types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer of the esophagus among African Americans and adenocarcinoma is more common in whites.
  • Most stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, arising in the gland cells in the stomach lining.
  • Each year US doctors diagnose about 1200 malignant small intestine tumors, which is a small number relative to the frequency of tumors in other parts of the GI tract.
  • Some of the risk factors for esophageal cancer are: dysphagia, esophageal injuries, highly seasoned foods, and plummer-vision syndrome.
  • Some of the risk factors for stomach cancer are: age, race, food preservatives, achlorhydria, and duodenal ulcer.
  • Risk factors for small intestine cancer do not appear to be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way.
  • Early symptoms of esophageal, stomach, and small intestine cancers tend to be vague and nonspecific. In many cases, the cancer has spread before it is found.
  • Five-year survival rates are good for UGI cancers at early stages and poor at advanced stages.