Gastrointestinal Cancers
and Premalignant

Once the leading cause of death in the United States, gastric (stomach) cancers have become less common today, possibly due to changes in diet and more frequent use of antibiotics. Caring for a patient with stomach cancer is complicated and involves a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosing, staging, proposing a course of treatment and coordinating care throughout entire process. Our highly trained gastroenterologists deliver a personalized experience that begins with the first visit and are prepared to diagnose your specific type of cancer or disorder.

  • Esophageal cancer 
  • Pancreas cancer 
  • Colon cancer 

 Less common types of stomach cancer are also treated at Houston Methodist.

  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs): GISTs can occur along the entire gastrointestinal track but are most commonly found in the stomach and small intestine. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) is used to diagnose GISTs and the complete removal of the tumor is the recommended treatment.
  • Carcinoid Tumors: These tumors generally develop in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, in the stomach or intestines, or in the lungs. Carcinoid tumors can be slow to grow and patients may not have any obvious symptoms. Testing is conducted to see if the tumor has mestasticized (spread). Surgery and/or radiation are the usual recommended treatment options.
  • Primary Gastric Lymphoma: Imaging techniques are used to diagnose this rare condition that occurs in the stomach, with radiation, chemotherapy and/or surgery used to treat a primary gastric lymphoma.
  • Metastatic Tumors: These form when cancer has spread from the original site to another part of the body, such as the stomach. Imaging can detect these tumors, which rarely have symptoms, and radiation, chemotherapy and/or surgery are used to remove metastatic tumors.

Symptoms of Gastric Cancers

Cancers of the stomach usually start in the inner lining (adenocarcinomas), and you may not experience symptoms in the early stages. Symptoms include stomach pain or discomfort, a bloated feeling (especially after eating), nausea and vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, heartburn, anemia, difficulty swallowing or excessive belching when eating. Persistent nonhealing ulcers may also be an indication of stomach cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, your health care team will assess your staging, which determines the extent of the disease and treatment options.

Treatment and Procedures for Gastric Cancers
The treatment your doctors recommend for gastric (stomach) cancer is based on information about the type of tumor you have and how far it has spread, which is reflected in the “stage” of the tumor. Learn more about treatment options for stomach cancer.

Houston Methodist offers advanced diagnostic and therapeutic care unavailable elsewhere in a compassionate and supportive environment. This includes state-of-the-art imaging, great clinicians, psychological support, pain management, rehabilitation and palliative care. We support patients and families, providing clear treatment options, expectations and prognostic information. Collaboration with Houston Methodist radiologists and oncologists specializing in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers ensures a comprehensive and individualized approach to your treatment options.

It is important to understand that our community of caretakers, along with you and your family, make up the team to fight gastric cancer. The physicians, nurses, nutritionists, social workers and spiritual care professionals are committed to providing you with the best and most effective care possible.