What is GI cancer?
Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancer is a term for the group of cancers that affect the digestive system. This includes cancers of the oesophagus, gallbladder & biliary tract, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bowel (large intestine or colon and rectum), and anus. It also includes rare cancers like neuroendocrine tumours and gastro-intestinal stromal tumours, which can occur throughout the gastro-intestinal system.
GI cancer is the most common form of cancer. Around 28,900 Australians are diagnosed with it each year and 38 Australians die of it each day.
It does not discriminate between men and women.
The GI Cancer Institute aims to fundraise for, and raise awareness about GI cancer. It’s important that we improve the survival rates for these cancers.
- Our survival rates are lower than for other more well known cancers. The five-year survival rate of people with cancer of the stomach is 29%, bowel 69% – and only 8.7% of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live more than five years after their initial diagnosis.
- In 2018, it was estimated that 13,809 people would die from gastro-intestinal cancers —more than twice the estimated combined total for breast and prostate cancers.
We conduct clinical trials, which are designed to find better treatments for these cancers. Treating these cancers is often very complex and, usually, requires a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and specialist drugs (chemotherapy). Treatments vary depending on the specific type of cancer and the stage it is at.
Types of GI Cancer
More information on each of the 10 gastro-intestinal cancers is available below.