Gastrointestinal Cancer

Gastrointestinal cancer describes the group of cancers that affect the digestive system, including cancers of the esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.

Because this group encompasses many different cancers, risk factors for gastrointestinal cancer vary among the different types. Nearly all of the risk factors are linked to lifestyle and include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • A diet high in animal fat
  • A diet high in salted or cured foods
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Obesity
  • Increasing age

Colon cancer screening can detect precancerous changes in the large intestine or rectum, and your doctor may recommend regular screening for adults age 50 and over to aid in early detection.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal cancer vary depending on the type of cancer. The most common symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain, tenderness, discomfort or bloating
  • Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in stool

Treatment for gastrointestinal cancer also varies depending on the type and stage of cancer, and the patient’s overall health. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment or a combination of these. Lake Health/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Cancer team is led by Dr. Joel Saltzman includes neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, and other healthcare professionals.

To schedule an appointment with any of our specialists, call (440) 205-5755.



Fundraising efforts throughout the year help LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center continue to carry out our mission to provide world-class cancer care and oncology services to residents within driving distance of Mentor and Lake County.