Gastro Intestinal & Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgical Oncology

Gastro Intestinal & Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgical Oncology


Gastrointestinal cancer is the second most common type of cancer present among individuals and represents a heterogeneous complex arrangement of several disorders and diseases. These are divided into rare inherited forms and more frequent sporadic forms.

Amongst the cancers affecting the gastrointestinal tract, oesophageal cancer is the commonest followed by colorectal cancers (affecting the colon and rectum) and cancers of the stomach, and the small intestine.

The elementary causes for different types of gastrointestinal cancers vary, but some of the key risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, increasing age, viral and bacterial infections, chronic pancreatitis, and obesity.

Hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) cancers include malignant or cancerous tumours originating in the cells of the liver, bile ducts, pancreas and gallbladder.

Pancreatic cancer is cancer that takes place in the pancreas, which is a gland that produces digestive juices and hormones. Pancreatic cancer is more commonly seen in older people as compared to people under the age group of 40 years.

Liver Cancer, which starts in the liver, depends on where it begins and the type of cell it involves.

Bile duct cancer, also termed cholangiocarcinoma, is a very rare form of cancer and occurs when there is abnormal cell growth in a rampant way. Bile ducts are small tubes connecting the liver and gallbladder to the bowel. The bile ducts carry bile which helps in the breakdown of fats in food.

Treatment options for GI cancer and HPB cancer rely on factors like cancer's location, stage as well as aggressiveness. The doctor also considers the general health and preferences while framing a plan of treatment.

The main goal of surgery is to eradicate cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it. Operations used for GI cancer include:

  • Curative surgery:
    • Removing the tumours from the site of origin with a margin of healthy tissue
    • Removing the regional lymph nodes
  • Palliative surgery:
    • Surgery to relieve signs and symptoms.

Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that uses certain drugs to eliminate cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs travel throughout the body and kill cancer cells that may have extended away from the site of origin. Chemotherapy sessions can be given before surgery to help constrict cancer so that it can be removed more easily. Chemotherapy is also used post-surgery to kill any cancer cells that might remain in the body. Chemotherapy is often combined with radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy involves high-power beams of energy to kill cancerous cells. The energy beams are emitted from a machine that moves around as a patient lie on a table. For advanced stomach cancer, which can't be eliminated with surgery, radiation therapy is used to reduce side effects as pain or bleeding occurs due to enlarged cancer.

Targeted drug treatments concentrate on particular weaknesses lying within cancerous cells. Targeted drug treatments cause cancer cells to die by blocking these weaknesses.

Immunotherapy is a form of drug treatment that helps the immune system to fight cancer. Immunotherapy is used either when the cancer is advanced, if it comes back or if it spreads to other parts of the body.

Gastro Intestinal & Hepatopancreatobiliary Surgical Oncology: Condition & Treatments

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Treated by Dr. Vivek Mangla , Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali

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