GI Oncology involves treatment of cancers of gastrointestinal system. GI oncology is subset of Surgical Gastroenterology that treats cancers of digestive system. Cancers of digestive system involves cancers affecting organs of digestive system
- Liver cancer
- Pancreas cancer
- Gall bladder and biliary system cancer
- Esophagus (food pipe) cancer
- Cancer of Stomach
- Cancers of small intestines
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Cancer of anus
- Retroperitoneal cancers
Surgical Gastroenterologist can provide good functional outcome in addition to removal of cancer. Due to better understanding of digestive system, he is in better position to offer removal of cancer with better functional outcome that helps in improvement of quality of life after treatment. He is also in better position to manage postoperative problems as they manage these problems routinely surgery for non-cancerous conditions.
Also, patient’s stay in hospital is shorter and return to normal routine is faster in complex cases managed by surgical gastroenterologist. Oncologic results may be equal in all cases but functional outcome is definitely better is cases performed by Surgical gastroenterologist as compared to non-specialist surgeon.
Scientific evidence from world clearly shows that results in form of success of surgery and outcome are better in hands of specialist than in non-specialist surgeon. Surgical Gastroenterology is a branch of surgery that deals exclusively with diseases of digestive system and thus provide better outcome than any other specialist dealing in gastrointestinal diseases/cancer. Its not only treatment but they also have an edge on diagnosing and differentiating the non-cancerous condition from cancerous one and thus dealing with them accordingly.
Even if cancer is diagnosed during surgery for some other condition, it can be dealt with then and there thus providing solution to patient rather than making patient undergo major surgery in later on.
As cancer treatment progresses more and more specializations regarding cancers are being added and area of specialty is becoming narrower. Specialties as general are shrinking and specialists are being trained with regard to systems and organs e.g., Neurosurgeon for brain oncology, Cardiothoracic surgeon for tumors of heart and lungs, urologist for cancers of urinary system, etc. Similarly branch of GI Surgery has evolved that involves treating tumors of gastrointestinal system only.
Even in major cancer institutes around world and in India it is organ based or system based cancer branches and specialist that treats cancer. In prestigious Tata Memorial Cancer Institute ,there are specialized branches for cancers of chest, lung, colon and rectum, liver and pancreas, esophagus, gynae, head and neck etc. Surgeons in these branches deal only with cancers of one organ or system and thus best results are being provided.
Similarly in other institutes system specific cancer surgeons are produced that has great impact on patient outcome. It is due to fact that apart from surgery it is the perioperative care that helps in improvement of patient outcome. So surgeons dealing with the concerned system is best suited to impart good perioperative care and improve patient outcome.