Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the cancers of the soft tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. They can occur in any part of the gut. GISTs are more common in the stomach followed by small intestine, colon, and rectum. These tumors are rare and represent about 0.1-3% of all the GI cancers (gastrointestinal cancers).
Most often, people with GIST do not exhibit any symptoms or signs. If symptoms occur, they may include:
Adjuvant therapy with imatinib may be given to delay the recurrence after the resection.
Radiation therapy is often not used in the treatment of GISTs. It can be used to relieve only the associated symptoms.
Chemotherapy is not effective for GISTs and hence it is not recommended.
Most of the GISTs develop sporadically, i.e. without a known reason. Usually, a tumor is produced when healthy cells grow and divide uncontrollably, forming a mass. GISTs occur due to the mutations in the two most common genes called platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRA) and KIT receptor tyrosine kinase. The resultant tumor can be benign (localized) or cancerous (spreads to other parts).
The most important complication of an untreated throat cancer is its spread to the other organs of the body. They can spread to liver, entire abdomen, lymph nodes (rare), lungs and also bones.
No laboratory test can specifically confirm if you have GIST. Your doctor will ask you to go for the following tests if you present the above symptoms:
The other tests which may be required to confirm the diagnosis of GIST based on the above tests are:
|Test type||Purpose of the test|
|Endoscopic ultrasound||To accurately locate the lesions on the wall of the GI tract|
|CT (Computed tomography) scans||Gives the detailed images to locate the tumors and know its size For diagnosing and staging of GISTs|
|MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)||To detect if multiple tumors are present and check if they have metastasized (spread)|
|Biopsy||A part of the suspected tissue is removed and examined under microscope to check for the specific changes associated with cancer|
Doctors could not find specific risk factors other than hereditary syndromes which include: