What is gastrointestinal cancer?
Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer includes cancers that affect the GI tract, the pathway from the mouth to the anus. Common types of GI cancers include:
- Stomach cancer.
- Pancreas cancer.
- Liver cancer.
- Large or small intestine cancer.
- Spleen cancer.
- Anus/rectum cancer.
- Gallbladder cancer.
- Peritoneal cavity cancer.
Many patients who are diagnosed with complex GI cancer are treated with surgery that removes, destroys or controls the cancer cells. Yet, preparing for surgery isn’t always an easy process, and this period typically can take anywhere between two to six months.
“We know that cancer patients who are undergoing or preparing for complex GI operations experience challenges, not only physically, but also psychosocially,” explained Sameer Patel, MD, surgical oncologist at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center and assistant professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at the UC College of Medicine.
Knowing the impact the cancer journey can have on patients who are preparing for surgery, the UC Cancer Center developed the Five-Pillar GI Cancer Prehabilitation Program – a program designed to improve patients’ physical and mental well-being prior to surgery, increasing their chances for a better recovery and response to treatment.