Reasons to Consider Israel for Upper GI Cancer Treatment
Reasons to Consider Israel for Upper GI Cancer Treatment
Cancers that develop in organs of the digestive system’s upper parts are collectively referred to as upper gastrointestinal tract (GI) cancers. Upper GI cancers are among the most lethal of all malignancies, being the second most common cause of death among digestive system cancers after colon cancer.
The Different Types of Upper GI Cancer
The esophagus is a tube that connects the mouth and throat with the stomach. Esophagus cancer may form anywhere along the length of the esophagus. The first sign of esophageal cancer is usually pain when swallowing or a sensation that food is sticking when trying to swallow.
This cancer occurs in the stomach, the part of the digestive system that connects the esophagus to the small intestine. Most gastric cancers develop slowly over many years, and therefore symptoms often go undetected.
Small intestine cancer
The small intestine is where digested food from the stomach is further processed. Although the small intestine makes up the largest part of the GI tract, small intestine cancers are much less common compared to most other types of GI cancers. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice, weakness, blood in the stool, and diarrhea.
The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen and plays an essential role in converting food into fuel for the body’s cells. Early pancreatic cancer usually does not cause symptoms and is therefore known as a “silent” disease. As the tumor grows, the patient may have one or more of the following: abnormal pain, nausea, decreased appetite, weight loss, and jaundice.
The liver has many important functions, including clearing toxins from the blood, metabolizing drugs, making blood proteins, and producing bile, which assists digestion. Tumors afflicting the liver are sometimes the result of metastasis, meaning they started at a different site (e.g., colon, kidney, etc.), or they may be primary, meaning they arise from within the liver (e.g., hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma).
The gallbladder is a small organ next to the liver that helps make and store bile. Gallbladder cancer is also known as cholangiocarcinoma, and is considered difficult to detect and diagnose early. Signs and symptoms include jaundice, fever, pain, yellowing of the skin, itching, light-colored stool, dark-colored urine, and unexplained weight loss.
Upper GI Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Physicians usually use one or more of the following tests to diagnose GI cancer: endoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), colonoscopy, biopsy, CT/US. Treatments are most effective when the cancer is detected at an early stage, which, unfortunately, can be a challenge. This is largely due to the fact that most of the time, symptoms of gastrointestinal cancers don’t occur until the tumor has become more advanced.
Treatment for different upper GI cancers usually involves surgical removal of the tumor and nearby lymph nodes. In the event of an especially large tumor or the spread of cancer throughout the stomach, partial removal of the stomach may be necessary.
Following surgery, the pathology team determines the type and stage of the tumor present to figure out which drugs to administer. Some types of upper GI cancers may be treated with targeted therapy (drugs that target specific components of the cancer cells) or immunotherapy (drugs that stimulate the patient’s immune system to help it better fight cancer).
Why Choose Sheba for Upper GI Treatment
At Sheba, treating patients with upper GI cancer is a highly integrated endeavor. At our Institute of Gastroenterology, multidisciplinary physicians – including oncologists, gastroenterologists, imaging specialists, surgeons, radiologists, and dietitians – meet each week to discuss new cases and plan the most effective course of treatment. Furthermore, a full collaboration between different hospital divisions enables us to design individualized, comprehensive, and holistic treatment plans.
Sheba’s state-of-the-art Institute of Gastroenterology is the largest and most advanced of its kind in Israel, comprising many general and specialized clinics, a cutting-edge laboratory, and complementary medicine services.
It was designed with special consideration for patient privacy and comfort, incorporating distinct areas for endoscopy suites, outpatient consultations, and a daycare unit for drug infusion therapy.
Steadfastly committed to treating patients with the most progressive, advanced therapies, Sheba experts are constantly involved in clinical studies exploring new cancer treatments.
Many endoscopic procedures were pioneered in Israel before later being implemented around the world, including capsule endoscopy, colonoscopy, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), double-balloon enteroscopy, transrectal ultrasound, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), and more.
A Leader in Upper GI Cancer Treatment
Sheba is at the forefront of upper GI treatment, offering the most advanced treatment options. These include:
PIPAC (pressurized intraperitoneal aerosol chemotherapy) is an advanced method of delivering chemotherapy that involves extremely concentrated, aerosolized drugs inserted directly into the abdominal cavity. Using this method, drugs can penetrate the tumor more deeply and help prevent it from spreading with fewer adverse effects on healthy cells.
For its exceptional results with applying this innovative treatment, Sheba’s Department of Surgical Oncology has been designated as an International PIPAC Teaching Center by the International Society for the Study of Pleura and Peritoneum.
Over the past decade, the use of HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy) has increased dramatically. HIPEC is a “wash” that bathes the abdominal cavity in a very high concentration of chemotherapy drugs heated to about 107.6 °F (42 °C). It is typically used as a follow-up procedure for the surgical removal of abdominal lesions and tumors. HIPEC may be used to treat metastatic abdominal cancer, which often originates as gastrointestinal tumors (among other types).
As HIPEC is a complex procedure, it is essential to receive it at a hospital with highly qualified, experienced staff. At Sheba, more than 500 patients have already been treated with HIPEC, requiring no further chemotherapy after previously being considered incurable.
Gastrointestinal cancers can progress rapidly, and early diagnosis is critical, so don’t delay.
Contact Sheba Medical Center today for a free consultation, and get started on your path to effective, advanced treatment as soon as possible.
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Sheba Medical Center provides innovative, personalized medical care to patients from around the world. We are the largest, most comprehensive hospital in the Middle East and dedicated to providing advanced and compassionate medicine for everyone.
We welcome all cases, including the rarest and the most challenging. Our medical teams collaborate to provide the best possible health outcomes. From your initial inquiry through the long-term follow-up care, we are here for you.
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