Digestive system surgery unit
This unit is specialized in surgical treatment of tumours that mainly affect the organs of the digestive tract: colon, rectum, stomach, pancreas and others less frequent, such as cancer of the esophagus, liver, of bile ducts or neuroendocrine tumours.
Early detection of colorectal cancer has helped to prevent more than half a million cases since the mid-1970s. The colonoscopy allows the direct viewing of the tumour and its confirmation by biopsy.
Currently, there exists a program for screening the general population that recommends the performance of a colonoscopy every ten years both in men and in women from 50 years. Additionally, a new genetic tumour marker can be detected present in more than 90% of the tumours of colon and rectum by a simple blood analysis.
The treatment of the colorectal cancer has as a fundamental basis the surgical removal of the tumour, which, we insist, must be done by a specialist oncologic surgeon.
In the case of cancer of the colon, when the tumour is localized, it is first removed and supplementary chemotherapy treatment is assessed.
In the case of cancer of the rectum, a combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is carried out prior to surgery with the aim of reducing the tumour size.
In the cases of metastatic disease, outside the abdominal cavity, the fundamental basis of the treatment is chemotherapy to control the progression of the disease, unless it is extended in the form of peritoneal carcinomatosis (intraabdominal), where surgery becomes the treatment of choice in combination with chemotherapy treatment.
Cancer of the stomach, or gastric cancer, is due to an abnormal proliferation of the cells that cover the internal walls of the stomach. It is usually diagnosed after the appearance of symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and weight loss.
The diagnosis is made by endoscopy with taking of biopsy and the CT scan to determine the extension of the disease.
The fundamental basis of the treatment is the surgical removal of the tumour, after chemotherapy treatment. To increase the effectiveness of the treatment, new medications have been developed which are aimed at specific therapeutic targets with the objective of reducing relapses and improving the quality of life of the patients.
Cancer of the pancreas is a type of tumour difficult to diagnose because the symptoms usually appear in an advanced phase of the disease. The most frequent symptoms are loss of weight, abdominal pain, lack of appetite and jaundice (yellow colouring of the skin and mucosa). Jaundice appears as a result of the obstruction of the bile duct connected to the head of the pancreas.
To determine the extension of the tumour diagnostic tests are performed such as the echo-endoscopy with puncture or the CT scan. In the initial stages cancer of the pancreas is treated by surgery and is potentially curable. In the advanced cases treatment is based on chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
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