What is a Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour of the Small Intestine?
A gastrointestinal stromal tumour of the small intestine is a mesenchymal tumour i.e. it originates from the uncontrolled growth of soft tissue or cells of the small intestine. It is a common tumour usually small in size and difficult to detect and diagnose at the early stage of the disease through the endoscope. It commonly affects people between the ages of 40-70 years. It is equally common in both males and females.
There is no well-known cause; however, the presence of certain hereditary and genetic syndromes such as familial GIST syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1and carney-stratakis syndrome can contribute to the development of a gastrointestinal stromal tumour of the small intestine.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Pain in the abdomen or discomfort
- Feeling of fullness after taking a few bites
- Palpable (felt able on touch) mass or tumour in the abdomen
- Constant feeling of fatigue
- Difficulty in breathing in advanced stages of the disease
- Distension of the abdomen
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Ultrasound (USG) of the abdomen
- Endoscopic examination of the anus, rectum, small intestine, and large intestine. Endoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to visualize the internal organs of the body directly through the endoscope.
- Computed tomography (CT-pelvis) helps to differentiate the types of cells involved in cancer
- Biopsy of the lesion/tumour and histopathological examination
- Barium Meal
Surgical removal of the tumour (cancer part of the small intestine) is the main treatment option. Other treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted immunotherapy.
What Support can we Give for Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour?
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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