GIST – Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor Treatment
Sarcoma is a type of cancerous tumor that begins in bones or soft tissues throughout the body. Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GISTs, are soft-tissue sarcomas that can occur in the stomach or small intestine. These tumors can be small and asymptomatic, but they can also grow at a faster pace and be deadly. Danny Shouhed, M.D. offers GIST, or gastrointestinal stromal tumor, treatment and diagnosis at our medical facility in Los Angeles.
Risk Factors and Symptoms of GIST
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors are usually an acquired or sporadic condition that begin in certain nerve cells in the digestive wall, but there are a few cases that are caused by a hereditary gene mutation. The vast majority of people with GIST are over the age of 40, usually 50-70 years of age. There are many minor GISTs that are asymptomatic, but patients with larger forms of these tumors will likely have symptoms. Some of the signs of GIST include:
- Pain in the abdominal region
- Vomiting and nausea
- A physical growth in the abdomen
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Vomiting or passing blood
The first step when a GIST is suspected is diagnosis. Physicians can order or perform a variety of tests to determine whether a patient has a GIST and whether it is likely to spread, or metastasize, to organs nearby.
GIST treatment, especially in the early stages, is very effective. While small GISTs may only be monitored if they are asymptomatic, larger tumors will require removal or treatment. Targeted drug therapy or surgery can be used for treatment, depending on the size and location of the GIST.
If you have symptoms of a GIST, do not delay in seeking a diagnosis from a gastrointestinal specialist. Contact the office of Danny Shouhed, M.D. in Los Angeles to schedule an exam and consultation to discuss gastrointestinal stromal tumor treatment.