Gastrointestinal, Colorectal, Liver & Pancreatic Cancers
A full team of professionals is available to treat colorectal, liver, and pancreatic cancers in a variety of ways.
Colorectal cancer most often is caused by polyps that form in the colon. If left unattended, these polyps can become malignant and cause colon cancer. Although this cancer is difficult to diagnose by physical symptoms, it is fairly easy to detect and prevent through colonoscopies. A colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a scope to look for polyps within the colon and removes them before they have the chance to become cancerous.
Liver cancer can be primary or metastatic. Primary liver cancer starts in the liver. Metastatic liver cancer is cancer that has spread from another area into the liver. Geisinger physicians employ all available options to treat liver cancer, including radiation therapy, minimally invasive surgery, chemotherapy, and novel therapies through the use of clinical trials.
Symptoms of Liver Cancer
- A hard lump on the right side just below the rib cage
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen on the right side
- Pain around the right shoulder blade
- Unexplained weight loss
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
- Unusual fatigue
- Loss of appetite
Receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer means every second counts as diagnosis generally means the disease has reached an advanced stage.
SpyGlass technology, used by trained gastroenterologists, can detect pancreatic cancer earlier and with increased certainty. Diagnosis at earlier stages means treatment can begin sooner, leading to better hope for a cure.
If surgery is recommended, the patient will be scheduled quickly. Geisinger is the only facility in the region with surgeons who perform laparoscopic pancreatectomy, the cutting-edge surgical approach for pancreatic cancer. This procedure offers the following:
- Smaller incisions
- Shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery
- Less pain
Physician Team Leaders:
- Maged Khalil, MD, Hematologist/Medical Oncologist
- Joseph Blansfield, MD, Surgical Oncologist
- Paul Meade, MD, Surgeon
- Chintalapati Varma, MD, FRCS, FACS, Surgeon
- Yakub Khan, MD, Gastroenterologist
Bob Z's Story: Colonoscopy Screening
Bob Z. found out he had cancer through a routine colonoscopy recommended by his family physician. Bob is alive today because he followed his doctor's advice.