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Colon, Liver and Other Digestive Cancers

Call (443) 481-5800

We provide expert, compassionate care for cancers of the digestive system, including colon, liver, pancreatic and other gastrointestinal cancers. We're here to guide and support you in the months ahead following your cancer diagnosis.

What Are Colon, Liver and Other Digestive Cancers?

Digestive cancers are the result of abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to spread to other parts of the body. At Luminis Health, the digestive system cancers we treat include:

  • Anal and rectal cancers.
  • Bile duct cancers, including gallbladder cancer.
  • Colon cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Small intestine cancer.
  • Stomach or gastric cancer.

Why Choose Luminis Health for Liver, Colon and Other Digestive Cancer Care?

Our DeCesaris Cancer Institute provides expert cancer care close to home that:

  • Provides compassionate care. Our specialists include oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists and nurses who treat colorectal cancer. We treat the person, not just the disease. Our nurse navigators offer guidance and support as you go through diagnosis and treatment.
  • Supplies cancer support services to help your well-being. Cancer is a major life event. If you or a loved one has cancer, we're here to help you every step of the way. We offer many different services and resources designed to fit your needs and give you a better, more comfortable experience.
  • Offers genetic counselors who can help you see the big picture. If you have a family history of a digestive cancer, you may be more likely to get the disease and may benefit from earlier screening. Some people with a family history may have other genetic risk factors that can impact their cancer screening. Genetic counselors use your family history to discuss your genetic testing and screening options with you.
  • Emphasizes prevention. Routine screenings greatly reduce the chances of developing colorectal cancer. We recommend scheduling your first colonoscopy at age 45. And earlier if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.
  • Offers access to clinical trials. Through the Luminis Health Research Institute, we provide access to the latest research and clinical trials. We're at the forefront of new treatments for cancer care.

Preventive Care

There's no foolproof way to prevent digestive cancers, but there are lifestyle changes you can make to help avoid them. We, along with the American Cancer Society, recommend you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Limit red and processed meats.
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.

The best way to stop colorectal cancer is to find it when it's small and hasn't spread. According to the American Cancer Society, a polyp may take 10 to 15 years to develop into cancer. During a colonoscopy, doctors can remove polyps before they become cancerous.

By scheduling a colonoscopy at age 45 (or earlier if you have a family history of the disease), you lower your risk of developing cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment

You may not experience any symptoms in the early stages of colorectal cancer. That's why screening is so important.

Signs of digestive system cancers include:

  • Blood in your stool.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Stomach pain or cramps.

Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.


Tests and screening for colon and other digestive cancers

It's easy to miss symptoms of digestive system cancer, especially in the early stages. It's important to pay attention to small changes in your body and see a doctor when something feels different.

To diagnose digestive cancers, we may use:

  • Colonoscopy. This is a screening test for colon and rectal cancer, starting at age 45. During the colonoscopy, a doctor can remove polyps before they become cancerous.
  • Imaging tests. CT, MRI and PET scans give us a look inside your body to help diagnose cancer.
  • Biopsy. This is a small sample of tissue to examine for cancer cells.
  • Double-contrast barium enema x-ray. This solution highlights areas of tissue and gives doctors a clearer look at what's going on in your lower intestine.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy. Your doctor inserts a tube into your rectum to view polyps or other abnormalities.
  • Stool test. If you have blood in your stool, this test helps determine if it's caused by tumors or polyps.
  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT). An FOBT looks at a sample of your stool to check for blood.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). ERCP is a specialized test to look for problems in the bile and pancreatic ducts.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). EUS produces detailed images of the pancreas, liver and other digestive organs.

Treatments for liver and other digestive cancers

We tailor your treatment to your specific condition. We may treat liver and other digestive cancers with:

  • Surgery. Surgery removes a tumor, polyps or a cancerous part of an organ with an operation.
  • Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses powerful drugs to kill cancer cells. This treatment is usually given by infusion or injection, but in some cases it's taken as a pill or rubbed on your skin. We use chemotherapy to cure cancer, prolong life or reduce symptoms.
  • Radiation. Radiation uses high-energy rays to kill cancer. It's sometimes combined with surgery or other treatments.
Location Section

Our Locations

Luminis Health Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Annapolis
2003 Medical Pkwy, Wayson Pavilion, Ste 210, Annapolis, MD 21401
Wayson Pavilion
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