Gastrointestinal cancer care in southwest Virginia
The highly skilled specialists at LewisGale Regional Health System in southwest Virginia provide preventive, diagnostic and treatment options for gastrointestinal cancer. If you or a loved one have symptoms of intestinal cancer, trust our team and advanced technology to provide the care and support you need.
To learn more about our gastrointestinal cancer care, call our Consult-A-Nurse® team at (877) 242-2362.
What is gastrointestinal cancer?
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is made up of several organs involved in the process of digesting food and eliminating waste from the body. These organs include the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus.
The GI tract has neuroendocrine cells and interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), both of which help control food moving through the digestive system. When neuroendocrine cells experience uncontrolled growth, they become neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), and when ICCs experience uncontrolled growth, they become gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs).
Each gastrointestinal cancer is diagnosed and treated differently. GI cancers may be diagnosed by a gastroenterologist, a physician who specializes in gastroenterological care.Find locations for this service on our Oncology page
Digestive health risk factors
Lifestyle factors like eating a healthy diet, staying physically active and not smoking reduce the risk of many types of cancers. Gastrointestinal cancer primarily has risk factors associated with a family history of cancer and inherited defects in certain genes.
Since genetics play a large role in increased risk for gastrointestinal cancer, there are currently no known preventive options. Some of the genetic risk factors are:
- Inherited defects in multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN1) gene
- Inherited defects in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene
- Diagnosed von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Diagnosed tuberous sclerosis complex
- Diagnosed atrophic gastritis
- Diagnosed Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Family history of any cancer
- Being 40 years old or older
Gastrointestinal cancers we treat
At LewisGale Regional Health System, our board-certified gastroenterologists, oncologists, surgeons and specialists provide superior cancer care and specialize in procedures for:
- Pancreatic cancer, masses and cysts
- Liver cancer, masses and cysts
- Biliary cancer, masses and cysts
- Cancer that has spread to the liver (metastatic)
- Esophageal cancer
- Spleen cancer
- Stomach cancer
Gastrointestinal cancer treatment
Our team is specialized in minimally invasive endoscopic surgery and robotic surgery. We also offer advanced gastrointestinal diagnostic procedures and treatments with highly trained interventional radiologists, including:
- Image-guided biopsy—Minimally invasive method for removing tissue to analyze for cancerous cells
- Chemoembolization—A controlled, large dose of radiation directed at tumors
- Bland embolization—Injection into an artery, usually in the liver, to block blood flow to cancerous tumors
- Portal vein embolization—Procedure that blocks blood flow to the cancerous section of the liver in preparation for surgery
- Thermal tumor ablation—Destruction of cancerous tumors through extreme heat or cold