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What is Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor? What its Causes and Treatment?

03 September, 2020 Prashant Chavan

What is Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor(GIST)?

The gastrointestinal stromal tumor is a rare tumor type of soft tissue sarcoma and mainly affects the digestive tract of the body. It causes Cajal intestinal cells to grow a cancerous tumor that will affect the absorption and breaking down of food in the gastrointestinal tract. This type of tumor is mainly associated with the stomach and small intestine organ of the digestive tract. This tumor affects the nerve cells present in the lining walls of the digestive tract and changes the DNA of cells which controls the digestive process and allows absorption, movement of food in a gastrointestinal tract. The tumors grow in nerve cells are part of the autonomic nervous system which regulates the body functions. This tumor primarily found in people between age 40 and 70 years and very rare in children.

Causes of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor(GIST)

The cause of gastrointestinal stromal is the change in DNA or genetic mutation in KIT and PDGFRA cells. This genetic mutation affects the growth, changes, or repairing of normal cells and helps abnormal cells to grow, divide, and multiply the normal cells which will impact on the immune system. But most of the genetic mutation is not inherited and changes appear for no reason are called sporadic. 

The KIT gene helps to produce a protein that is responsible for proper growth, repair of cells, and replaces old cells with the new cell. This gene is normally inactive but due to tumors, it remains active continuously to grow and divide cells. The 90-85 % cases of gastrointestinal tumors have occurred due to changes in the DNA of the KIT gene.

The PDGFRA gene starts to make too much protein due to cancerous cell have damaged the DNA of it. The excessive production of protein impact on the normal cell and restrict the growth of the normal cell.

Few cases are not linked with the KIT and PDGFRA gene mutation and there are other risk factors which can cause gastrointestinal stromal tumor is as follows.

Risk factors and less common causes

  • Older Age
  • Neurofibromatosis genetic disorder
  • Family history of gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • DNA changes in the SDH gene

What are the Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor?

This type of tumor grows very slowly and shows no symptoms or larger effects during the early stages. The symptoms will appear after 5-10 years after the changes in DNA are started. The possible symptoms of tumors are as follows.

  • Bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract
  • Throwing of blood
  • Black and tarry stools
  • Blood in stools
  • Anemia
  • Pain and swelling in the abdomen
  • Nausea and Extreme fatigue

These symptoms can indicate the presence of tumors in the body. The symptoms are based upon the location of the tumor such as the stomach, small intestine, esophagus, colon, etc. If, you see these symptoms consult a doctor and you can order prescription medicines online from 3Meds.

Treatment of Gastrointestinal stromal tumor(GIST)

Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

The diagnosis is essential to confirm the tumor and know the exact location and areas in which it is spread. This will help to treat the tumor effectively. After the appearance of symptoms, the gastroenterologist will physically examine the condition and perform imaging tests such as CT, MRI, PTI scan, and X-ray scan to confirm the presence of tumors in a gastrointestinal tract. The endoscopy and colonoscopy tests will be used to know the tumor is cancerous or not. These tests also help to know the tumor in abnormal locations which is unable to detect in by imaging tests.

Treatment of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

The treatment of the tumor depends upon the age, location, and size of the tumor, and other health conditions to avoid side effects. The surgery is used to remove the tumor in the gastrointestinal tract. The smaller size of tumor laparoscopic surgery is used instead of cutting larger skin parts. The larger tumor which has spread to surrounding tissues and node requires removal of a specific part of that organ. 

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the conventional and most used methods to treat cancer. In chemotherapy drugs are injected into the bloodstream which travels and destroys the cancerous cell spread to other surrounding organs. In radiation therapy, high energy beam rays are used to kill and destroy the cancer cells.

The targeted drug therapy is the most common and effective therapy in order to treat gastrointestinal tumors. The imatinib, sunitinib, and regorafenib drugs are used in targeted drug therapy to target the protein which is causing the growth of the cancerous tumors. If you are looking for the best cancer medicines supplier in Delhi, 3Meds is one of the best cancer medicines supplier which sells at affordable rates.

The gastrointestinal stromal tumor has no other causes other than genetic mutation but smoking and alcohol, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy diet will contribute to making it harder for the body to recover from the situation. The early detection needs the consultation of a doctor if you are throwing of blood to rule out the tumor condition. The survival rate of the gastrointestinal stromal tumor is higher and possible to easily treat after certain lifestyle changes. A healthy life will help the body to keep out of complex conditions of the tumor. If you need Cancer medicines price list Delhi, 3Meds is one of the best cancer medicines price advisors in Delhi.