GI stromal tumors – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are tumors that form in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. GISTs are uncommon tumors that form in special cells in the GI tract called the interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs), a part of the nervous system which regulates digestion. While GISTs can occur in any part of the GI tract, it is usually found in the stomach.

There are two types of GISTs: sporadic tumors and familial tumors. While both are caused by gene mutations, familial GISTs are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, that is, having a parent with a mutated gene increases the likelihood of getting the condition. In sporadic GISTs, there is usually a single tumor, but familial GISTs may have multiple tumors at a given time.

Known risk factors and symptoms of GI stromal tumors

Genetics play an important role in the development of GISTs. People with a history of a family member having the condition are at an increased risk of having the condition. Moreover, the condition typically occurs in adults between 40 to 70 years.

GISTs manifest itself differently, depending on the size of the tumor. While smaller-sized tumors will present no symptoms, larger ones may cause the following:

  • Pain
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • Bleeding — Leads to anemia, resulting in weakness and tiredness
  • Internal bleeding — This will result in dark, black, and tarry stools
  • Vomiting of blood — Happens when bleeding occurs in the throat or stomach
  • Discoloration of skin
  • Skin lesions that have patches of itchy brown skin

Body systems affected by GI stromal tumors

Some complications caused by GISTs include the following:

  • The development of large tumors could obstruct the GI tract. This could lead to the perforation of the bowel, and the inward collapse of the intestine resulting in torsion of the bowel wall.
  • The primary tumor is easy to treat; however, complications arise when metastasis occurs. This usually happens in the liver and the peritoneum, the thin lining membrane in the abdomen.
  • In some cases, the tumors have a high rate recurrence after surgery.
  • Nerves, blood vessels, and other organs could be damaged during the excision of the tumor.
  • Side effects of more aggressive treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy may occur.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve GI stromal tumors

Proper diet is a sure way to combat the development of GISTs, as well as tumors in general. Here are some recommended food items to help you fight the growth of tumors.

  • Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can help fight tumors in the breast, colon, prostate, and other organs.
  • Mangosteen contains xanthones which have anti-tumor properties.
  • Fish oil, according to animal studies, has shown tumor-inhibiting characteristics.
  • Green tea contains a lot of polyphenols that suppress tumors.
  • Milk thistles possess anti-tumor substances like silymarin and other flavonoids.
  • Noni has anti-tumor compounds in its fruit juices.
  • Reishi mushrooms have demonstrated that it can inhibit tumor growth in the colon.

Treatment and management options for GI stromal tumors

Treating GISTs will usually require surgery to remove the tumors from the body. This will also apply in cases where the condition has metastasized into other regions. In some cases, medication will be used to reduce the tumor before the operation.

Where to learn more

Summary

GISTs are uncommon tumors that form in special cells in the GI tract which regulates digestion. While GISTs can occur in any part of the GI tract, it is usually found in the stomach.

Genetics play an important role in the development of GISTs. People with a history of a family member having the condition are at an increased risk of having the condition. Moreover, the condition typically occurs in adults between 40 to 70 years.

GISTs manifest itself differently, depending on the size of the tumor.

Sources include:

Cancer.org

DoveMed.com

RaySahelian.com

eMedicine.Medscape.com



Comments

comments powered by Disqus