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The Gist of GIST Cancer

Todays Date: November 16, 2018

Cancer, the term that causes shivers to even those hearing about it, is basically a disease with more than 100 types like blood cancer, GIST Cancer, Cervical cancer and more. To understand it better, we must understand that that the human body is made up of millions of living cells. The cells grow, divide and die out in a normal fashion. While a person is young these cells divide faster enabling growth, and as an adult these cells divide only to replace old / dying cells, which have been damaged due to injuries.

Cancer, starts when the new cells that are growing go out of control and keep growing instead of dying out. These cells contain damaged DNA and keep reproducing and not dying, thereby forming a lump or spreading into the blood. Lumps although can be benign or malignant and are adjudged through a test called Biopsy. Cancer is the malignant lump which keeps growing.

Normally the more prevalent cancers are blood cancer, bone cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and off late another cancer fast spreading its deathly wings is GIST cancer. GISt Cancer or stands for gastro intestinal stromal tumor, and unfortunately, these tumors can grow quite large before they are discovered.

Gist disease belongs to a type of cancers called soft tissue sarcomas and is known to spread from its location of origin to other parts of the body. 6 out of 10 tumors are born in the stomach but they can begin anywhere in the gastro intestinal system and spread along. This is called metastases. It is also been seen that if GIST tumors metastasize, they usually travel to the liver or peritoneum, and if this happens, these tumors in the liver are known as GIST tumors and not Liver cancer. Metastases to the lymph nodes and lungs are rare but do occur.

The early stages of GIST do not show much of symptoms. Usually a GIST is discovered while doing tests for other medical conditions and most GISTS are diagnosed in advanced stages or as already metastasized. Some of the symptoms of GIST include:

Stomach discomfort or Pain

Loss of appetite

A constant feeling of fullness.

Blood in stools or vomit


A palpable mass in the abdominal area etc

GIST support groups are available all over the internet but should any suspicion arise it is very important to take a doctors opinion. It must be noted that GIST tumors do not respond to Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. A tablet called Gilvec is also being researched as a treatment for GIST Tumors.

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