Our team works for you
The healthcare team at the St. Vincent’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care incorporates a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.
Our multidisciplinary team of surgical, medical and radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, radiologists and pathologists work closely with your primary care physician to coordinate your care and keep you safe.
Gastrointestinal and digestive cancers include cancers of the:
- Duodenum/Small intestine
- Bile Ducts and Gall Bladder
Facts about gastrointestinal cancer
The gastrointestinal (or GI) system processes food to produce energy and eliminates solid waste. It is also known as the digestive system. The GI system starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. The system includes the esophagus, stomach and intestines along with support organs that aid digestion including the pancreas, liver and bile ducts.
Cancer of the GI system represents approximately 17% of all new cancer cases in the United States. The most common site is colorectal cancer with approximately 141,000 new cases annually followed by pancreas (44,000), liver (26,000), stomach (21,500), esophagus (17,000) and gall bladder/biliary (9,000). Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer in both men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death overall in the United States.
Esophagus, stomach and liver cancers are more common in males; however, the other sites are diagnosed in men and women at approximately the same rate. The risk of GI cancers increases with age and are found more commonly after 50 years of age.
Treating gastrointestinal cancers at St. Vincent’s
Our comprehensive care approach to treating patients addresses the medical as well as the psychological needs of cancer patients and their families. From diagnosis to treatment to support services and survivorship, our team of physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists and support staff work collaboratively to determine individualized treatment options leading to the most optimal results for the patient.
Treatment plans designed exclusively for you
A combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy is commonly used to treat cancers of the GI tract. Each patient’s individual needs are assessed by our multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists to determine which combination of treatment options is most appropriate.
Complex GI cancer cases are often reviewed at our weekly Tumor Conference attended by physicians and staff from different disciplines ensuring the most thorough assessment of these cases.
At St. Vincent’s, patients are assessed on an individualized basis for specialized treatments including minimally invasive surgery, robotic surgery, image guided radiation therapy (IGRT), intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), personalized chemotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery or SRS utilizing the Novalis Tx platform.
Patients receiving chemotherapy may receive treatment in our ambulatory infusion center where they will find a warm, healing environment with state-of-the-art medical equipment and experienced, certified oncology nurses.
Patients with cancers of the pancreas, liver, gall bladder and bile ducts can benefit from the multidisciplinary services offered through our Lebo-DeSantie Center for Liver and Pancreatic Disease.
The gastrointestinal nurse navigator at St. Vincent’s is there to help guide patients through the diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of gastrointestinal cancer.
You will always be treated with compassion and with the philosophy of treating the whole person – mind, body and spirit – not just the cancer. Compassionate care is our mission.
The Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care
The Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care is accredited with commendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Criteria for accreditation include a relationship with the American Cancer Society (ACS) and a representative from the ACS is a member of our Hospital Committee on Cancer.
Click in for additional information about specific cancers listed by ACS, and call the Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care's referral line: 1-877-231-SWIM (7946) for more informaton.
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To speak with a St. Vincent's Care Line representative, call (877) 255-7847
To speak with somone at the front desk of the Medical Center, please call (203) 576-6000
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