Cancers of the digestive tract

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cancers of the digestive tract, which include cancer of the colon, rectum, pancreas, stomach and esophagus, are among the most common and deadly types of cancer. Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The disease surpasses both breast and prostate cancer in mortality and is second only to lung cancer in numbers of cancer deaths. Approximately 146 940 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in the United States 2004 and 56 730 people died from the disease. Although relatively uncommon, oesophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancer are among the most deadly cancers, as they are typically diagnosed at more advanced stages. For example, cancer of the pancreas is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The tendency of these cancers to be either asymptomatic at early stages or to present with vague symptoms at more advanced stages, as well as the lack of screening procedures for these cancers, contributes to diagnosis at a more advanced stage. This chapter will discuss the psychological impact of cancers of the digestive tract according to upper digestive tract (oesophagus and stomach) and lower digestive tract (colon, rectum, pancreas). Cancer of the upper digestive tract Many individuals diagnosed with cancers of the oesophagus or stomach have a poor prognosis because the cancer may have metastasized prior to diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine, Second Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780511543579
ISBN (Print)9780511543579
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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