Very few listed cancers do not question your daily routine, your diet, or your exercise regime AKA your overall lifestyle. So in many ways, it eliminates a large amount of risk – factors that lead to cancer.

Similarly, although Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours (GISTs) cancer can’t kick in from your lifestyle, there’s a massive possibility of you suffering from it based on your age and certain rare inherited genetic syndromes. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) is a type of cancer that begins in the digestive system. GISTs happen most often in the stomach and small intestine. If the cell lining in your digestive tract grows and divides itself in an uncontrolled way, it creates a mass of tissue called a tumour.  GISTs can be cancerous. Some people with GIST may not notice changes in their health, while others may feel unwell or have pain or bleeding.

The tunnel’s bright light is that GIST is curable if it can be surgically removed without damaging the dominant organs. On the day of spreading awareness on GIST CANCER”Join us as we move further to learn and educate others on the severity of GIST.”

Signs and Symptoms of GIST:

GIST is a fragile tumour that can bleed easily, in fact, they often get known because of bleeding caused in the GI tract.
Brisk bleeding into the oesophagus or stomach might cause the person to throw up blood. When the blood is thrown up it may be partially digested, so it might look like coffee grounds.
Brisk bleeding into the stomach or small intestine can make bowel movements (stools) black and tarry.
Brisk bleeding into the large intestine is likely to turn the stool red with visible blood.
If the bleeding is slow, it often doesn’t cause the person to throw up blood or have a change in their stool. Over time, slow bleeding can lead to a low red blood cell count (anaemia), making a person feel tired and weak.
Other Symptoms of GIST Include:
Abdominal (belly) pain
A mass or swelling in the abdomen
Nausea and vomiting
Feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Problems swallowing (for tumours in the oesophagus)

People often pay no attention to sudden loss of appetite, belly pain, drastic weight loss, undereating etc, thinking it’s normal. However, it’s important to know that these symptoms may seem normal but it falls under the category of some of the most uncommon and severe health diseases out there. Kindly get it investigated for your safety.

Now, what exactly causes Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumours? you might ask.

According to the American Cancer Society, we don’t exactly know the cause, However, researchers have made significant progress in learning how certain changes in DNA can cause normal cells to become cancer cells.
A small number of families have GISTs that are caused by a gene mutation passed down from parent to child. But most gene mutations related to GISTs are not inherited. These changes occur for no apparent reason and are called acquired or sporadic.

Treatment Options for GIST Cancer:

●     Surgery
If the GIST has not spread and is in a place where surgery can be safely done, the tumour and some of the tissue around it may be removed.

●     Targeted Therapy
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells.

Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs)
TKIs are targeted therapy drugs that block signals needed for tumours to grow.

Watchful Waiting
Watchful waiting is closely monitoring a patient’s condition without giving any treatment until signs or symptoms appear or change.

●     Supportive Care
If a GIST gets out of control during treatment or there are side effects, supportive care is usually given. The goal of supportive care is to prevent or treat the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment.

Every year 13th of July is celebrated as GIST Cancer Awareness Day to give people hope. This day is to make sure that you get enough knowledge on uncommon cancers like GIST, which can help you and your loved ones exist at peace with needed awareness and attention that is much needed in this society which throws misinformation your way.

 SELF-AWARENESS is the cheapest precaution one can take. Take it and live the beautiful life you deserve.


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