Can Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Be Prevented?

The risk of many types of cancer can be reduced with certain lifestyle changes (such as getting to and staying at a healthy weight, or quitting smoking).

But the only known risk factors for gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) − older age and certain rare, inherited genetic syndromes – cannot be changed. There are no known lifestyle-related or environmental causes of GISTs, so at this time we do not know of any way to protect against these cancers.

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Casali PG, Dei Tos AP, Gronchi A. Chapter 60: Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2019.

Morgan J, Raut CP, Duensing A, Keedy VL. Epidemiology, classification, clinical presentation, prognostic features, and diagnostic work-up of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). UpToDate. 2019. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-classification-clinical-presentation-prognostic-features-and-diagnostic-work-up-of-gastrointestinal-stromal-tumors-gist on October 14, 2019.

National Cancer Institute. Physician Data Query (PDQ). Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Treatment. 2018. Accessed at www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/hp/gist-treatment-pdq on October 14, 2019.

Last Medical Review: December 1, 2019 Last Revised: December 1, 2019

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