Gastrointestinal Cancer Program

Our Services

Our patient services include:

Diagnostic Services
Huntsman Cancer Institute offers a variety of imaging and procedural techniques to diagnose gastrointestinal (GI) tumors. These include computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography-CT (PET-CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound (US), colonoscopy, endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS, used to evaluate esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and rectal cancers), and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (a noninvasive means of visualizing the bile ducts).

Laparoscopy, a minimally invasive technique, allows visualization within the abdominal cavity, biopsies, and ultrasound examination of the liver, pancreas, and stomach. Doctors use the information obtained to determine if and how far cancer has spread and to plan each patient’s individualized care.

Support Groups
Wellness-Survivorship Center
Patient and Family Support

Treatment Planning Conferences
To optimize patient care, the members of Huntsman Cancer Institute’s gastrointestinal (GI) multidisciplinary team review all new cases at weekly multidisciplinary treatment planning conferences. Our nationally recognized pathologists, radiologists, and gastroenterologists, as well as our medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists, carefully study each new patient. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan, specific to his or her needs.

Treatment Services
Huntsman Cancer Institute physicians take an aggressive approach to treating patients with cancers of the GI tract. If tests show a GI cancer, we offer a variety of treatment options:

  • Surgery removes the tumor and nearby affected tissues with an emphasis on techniques that preserve function.
  • Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and provide pain relief.
  • Radiation therapy uses focused beams of radiation to kill cancer cells, shrink tumors, and provide pain relief.
  • Interventional radiology delivers cancer therapy using minimally invasive image-guided procedures.

Radiation and chemotherapy can be given before or after surgery. The doctor may recommend one of these approaches, or a combination of them, depending on the type of cancer and the extent of the tumor's growth and stage. Huntsman Cancer Institute physicians work with the patient’s personal physician to assure continuity of care.

Huntsman Cancer Institute physicians are conducting a number of clinical trials of new chemotherapy drugs, drug combinations, and other treatment approaches for GI cancers. For information on clinical trials that are currently enrolling patients, please visit the Clinical Trials website.