Anal Cancer: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Douglas Rubinson, MD, PhD Anal cancer is a type of cancer that forms in tissues of the anus. The anus is the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body and at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. What is the leading theory on why the incidence rate has risen … Continued

Five Things You Need to Know About Barrett’s Esophagus

Medically reviewed by Peter C. Enzinger, MD Barrett’s esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and can sometimes be a precursor for esophageal cancer. The condition occurs when the tissue lining the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) begins to resemble tissue that lines the intestines … Continued

After Cancer Treatment, Former Ironman Participant Finds Strength Again

Consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run, an Ironman Triathlon is not for the faint of heart — and completing it is a feat worth celebrating. After conquering the race, Dan Luers believed he was ready for whatever life had in store. Nothing could have prepared him for a … Continued

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colorectal Cancer?

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder in which the large intestine undergoes abnormal contractions, producing abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or a mix of these symptoms. (It is a different condition from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which most often occurs as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s … Continued

Aided by Genetic Advances, Pancreatic Cancer Patient Keeps Rolling Along

Anthony Guido sums up his life largely in numbers. He worked construction for more than 30 years, has ridden 500,000-plus miles by motorcycle since turning 18, and shares a combined four children and 16 grandchildren with his wife, Shelly. Guido is proud of it all, but what has him most excited these days is marking … Continued

Colorectal Cancer Myths and Common Questions

As of 2019, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society — but survival after diagnosis has been gradually increasing in the past decade due to advances in treatment. However, since 1994, cases of young onset colorectal cancer have increased … Continued

Metastatic Colon Cancer Patient Focuses on Helping Others

At the start of 2016, Amy Ennis was poised to take on the world. She was working as a project manager for Massachusetts’ biggest healthcare provider; she and her husband, Rich, had also recently celebrated their daughter Blakely’s first birthday.   So, when Ennis went to the hospital for stomach pains and intense nausea in … Continued

Colorectal Cancer: Risk Factors, Treatment, Symptoms, and More

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH Colorectal cancer forms in the tissues of the colon or rectum, which make up the large intestine. The colon and rectum are part of the body’s digestive system, which is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first six feet of … Continued

What is an Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Tumor Marker Test?

Tumor markers are substances in the human body that are produced by tumors and secreted into the blood, urine, or other bodily fluids. Certain benign conditions can also raise these markers, but significant elevations or a progressive rise can indicate a malignant process.  An AFP, or alpha-fetoprotein, tumor marker test—one of many different types of … Continued

What Should I Eat if I Have Esophageal Cancer?

Eating with esophageal cancer can present difficulties for patients before, during, and after treatment. Patients may go through radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, or any combination of these in an effort to eliminate or beat back the cancer. Esophageal cancer and its treatment can also cause the esophagus to narrow and/or become dry, sore, and irritated, … Continued

How Has Treatment of Gastrointestinal Cancers Advanced Recently?

Scientists have made numerous gains recently in treating gastrointestinal malignancies, which include cancers of the colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, liver, esophagus, and related tissues. Some advances are reflected in the approval of new drug therapies or changing practice to use existing drugs more effectively. In other cases, protocols are being revised to reduce toxic … Continued

BRCA2 and Pancreatic Cancer: What’s the Connection?

Pancreatic cancer is notorious for being difficult to treat—and it is often not detected until it advances beyond the pancreas. While smoking and obesity are two established risk factors that impact this disease, another risk factor can be mutations in the BRCA2 gene, also associated with breast and ovarian cancer. Research studies have identified a … Continued

Colon Cancer Signs and Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Meyerhardt, MD, MPH Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. Colon and rectal cancers are often collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths … Continued

Healthy Diet, Exercise Improve Survival in Colorectal Cancer

A diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, along with exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight can improve the five-year survival rate for patients with stage III colorectal cancer, according to a new report from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers.