- How are gastrointestinal stromal tumors treated?
- Surgery for gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Ablation and embolization to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors
- Targeted therapy for gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Chemotherapy for gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Radiation therapy for gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Clinical trials for gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Complementary and alternative therapies for gastrointestinal stromal tumor
- Treatment choices for gastrointestinal stromal tumor based on tumor spread
- More treatment information about gastrointestinal stromal tumor
How are gastrointestinal stromal tumors treated?
General treatment information
Once a gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. In determining these options, important factors include the tumor characteristics (such as its size, location, growth rate, and whether it has spread) and your overall health.
The main types of treatment used for GISTs include:
Based on your treatment options, you might have different types of doctors on your treatment team including:
- A surgical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with surgery.
- A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines.
- A gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in treatment of diseases of the digestive system.
- A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy.
Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well, including nurse practitioners, nurses, nutrition specialists, social workers, and other health professionals.
It is important to discuss all treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that best fits your needs. If you have time, it is often a good idea to seek a second opinion. A second opinion can provide more information and help you feel confident about your chosen treatment plan.
The next few sections describe the different types of treatment for GIST. This is followed by a discussion of the most common treatment options based on the extent of the cancer. The section called “Additional resources for gastrointestinal stromal tumor” has a list of other documents on the different types of cancer treatments and their side effects.
Last Medical Review: 04/04/2014
Last Revised: 05/09/2014