Gastrointestinal Cancers Patient Fact Sheets Archive

Cancer During Pregnancy

Most studies suggest that treatment with chemotherapy is generally acceptable during the second and third trimesters.

Productivity in Survivors of Cancer

This fact sheet discusses the productivity, or the ability to work and perform daily activities, among survivors of cancers.

Intermittent Fasting and Cancer

This fact sheet discusses the theory that intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer or improve outcomes with anticancer treatments.

Ultraprocessed Foods and Cancer

This fact sheet describes the potential association between consumption of ultraprocessed foods and the development of cancer.

Fertility After Treatment for Cancer

This fact sheet describes fertility after cancer treatment, including the mechanisms for infertility.

Obesity and Cancer

This fact sheet reviews data on the effect of obesity on cancer risk and outcomes.

Differences in Treatment Site of Care: Why Is My Insurer Sending Me to a Particular Treatment Center?

This fact sheet discusses the differences in cost between cancer care at physician offices and health system-based sites of care.

Cancer Recurrence Statistics

This fact sheet describes the estimated rates of recurrence of selected cancers.

Understanding Drug Approval and Researching Newly Approved Cancer Treatments

This fact sheet provides patient-focused information about the FDA drug approval process and guidance on researching FDA-approved agents for patients with cancer.

Palliative Care and Survivorship

This fact sheet discusses the importance of palliative care as it pertains to cancer survivorship.

Nutraceuticals/Supplements and Cancer Prevention: All Hype?

This fact sheet discusses the research on supplement use and cancer incidence.

Familial Exposure to Radiation During Treatment for Cancer

This fact sheet discusses the risk of familial exposure to radiation during cancer treatment and strategies to help limit incidental contact with potentially harmful byproducts.

Plastics and Cancer

Few studies have evaluated the general exposure to plastics and cancer risk, and data on cancer risk among workers in the plastic industry are inconclusive.

A Vegan Diet and Cancer

There are no data on whether a vegan diet is an effective means of cancer prevention among high-risk populations.

Tissue Biopsy: What to Expect

This fact sheet informs patients about what to expect prior to, during, and after a tissue biopsy.

Sexual Health and Cancer Treatment

This fact sheet about sexual health provides patients with an overview of the way in which cancer treatment can affect sexual health and management options.

Finding Clinical Trials in Cancer

This fact sheet describes patient-directed strategies for finding clinical trials.

Managing Immune-Related Adverse Events

An overview of the potential immune-related adverse events that can arise from treatment with checkpoint inhibitors.

Managing Neutropenia

Both the chemotherapy regimen selected and therapeutic dose intensity used in treatment factor into the calculation of neutropenia risk.

Genetic Testing and Cancer

Traditional genetic testing historically included the sequential analysis of single and generally well-described genes involved in heritable cancers.

Psychotherapy and Cancer

Some data suggest that psychotherapy may benefit patients with cancer, but higher-quality research is needed.

Polypharmacy and Cancer

The effect of polypharmacy and noncancer mortality on patient survival and other outcomes in cancer varies by study.

Financial Toxicity and Cancer

Though it is clear that cancer is associated with an extreme financial burden, the extent of the burden varies widely.

Dietary Nitrates/Nitrites and Cancer

There is concern that added nitrates and nitrites are associated with an increased risk of cancer, but epidemiologic data have been inconclusive thus far.

Exercise and Cancer

The mechanisms that drive this benefit are not well-understood, and it is believed that the benefit is not just a result of reducing risk factors such as body weight.

Massage and Cancer

An overview of the research regarding the use of massage to improve cancer- or treatment-related symptoms and overall quality of life for patients with cancer.

Mobile Phones and Cancer

Multiple studies have examined the possible association between cell phone usage and increased cancer risk, but study designs, potential biases, and interpretations of statistical outcomes leave conclusions uncertain.

Indoor Tanning and Cancer

All meta-analyses conducted to date show a significant association between indoor tanning use and an increased risk of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancers.

Resveratrol and Cancer

Though mechanisms of anticancer effects of resveratrol have been identified, the ability to translate these findings to in-human studies is a challenge.

Coffee and Cancer

Several meta-analyses suggest that coffee consumption may decrease the risk of many types of cancers, but for some cancers, the data remain mixed or indicate an increased risk.

Acupuncture and Cancer

Though the mechanisms of action of acupuncture are not well-understood and continue to be an area of research, hypotheses include changes in neurohormones and immunomodulation through cytokines.

Amygdalin and Cancer

While some in vitro data suggests anticancer activity, animal and in-human studies fail to show efficacy and the risk of cyanide toxicity make amygdalin not recommended for use.

Cannabis and Cancer

Cannabis and its synthetic cannabinoids have been studied for medicinal properties across multiple disease states.

Essential Oils and Cancer

In-human studies have evaluated the use of EOs in a supportive role, and though EOs appear to have some efficacy in this setting, larger studies are needed to confirm their effects.

Cascara and Cancer

Cascara use is not recommended because there are insufficient data for establishing its safety, and there have been reports of liver injury with high doses.

Controlled Amino Acid Therapy and Cancer

In vitro and in vivo data suggest that selective amino acid deprivation may have anticancer activity.

Bloodroot and Cancer

Bloodroot-containing products sold as a cure for cancer can be highly toxic and result in disfigurement.

Ayurvedic Medicine and Cancer

Proponents of Ayurveda claim that it is as effective as Western medicine but few, if any, well-designed clinical trials have been conducted using the Ayurvedic approach.

Alpha Lipoic Acid and Cancer

Preliminary data suggest that alpha lipoic acid, particularly in combination with other compounds, may improve quality of life and may have some anticancer activity.

Acai Berry and Cancer

In vitro and in vivo data suggest that acai berry extracts have anticancer properties, and warrant additional studies in humans.

Nicotinamide and Cancer

Oral nicotinamide may reduce the number and size of AKs and prevent the development of new non-melanoma skin cancers among patients at high risk.

AHCC and Cancer

Two small studies suggest that AHCC may improve outcomes among patients with liver cancer.

Fish Consumption and Cancer

High fish consumption may provide a protective benefit against gastrointestinal cancers, thyroid cancer, multiple myeloma, and childhood leukemia.

Flaxseed Lignans and Cancer

Epidemiologic data of flaxseed dietary intake and high enterolactone serum concentrations suggest that flaxseed consumption may reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Poultry Consumption and Cancer

Epidemiologic evidence suggests that high poultry consumption is not associated with an increased risk of most cancers, including cancer mortality.

Alcohol Consumption and Cancer

The association of cancer risk and alcohol varies by tumor type, as alcohol consumption has been associated with several different types of cancers.

Microbiota and Cancer

Evidence suggests that microbiota dysbiosis occurs among patients with cancer, particularly those with cancers of the digestive tract.

Proinflammatory Diet and Colorectal Cancer

Epidemiologic evidence suggests that a proinflammatory diet, as measured by the dietary inflammatory index, can increase the risk of developing CRC, particularly proximal colon cancer.

Garlic and Cancer

Epidemiologic evidence is mixed regarding the protective effect of garlic consumption against different cancer types.

Pesticides and Cancer

Epidemiologic data, primarily from case-control studies, suggest that different types of pesticides are associated with specific types of cancer among children and adults.

High Red Meat Intake and Cancer

Epidemiologic evidence suggests that high consumption of red meat, particularly beef, is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer.

Xylitol and Cancer

There are no data to suggest that xylitol is carcinogenic or is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Two in vitro studies suggest that xylitol may have antiproliferative properties, but this has not been investigated among human subjects.

Ginseng and Cancer

Several case-control and prospective cohort studies conducted in a Korean population suggest that ginseng intake can reduce the risk of cancer, though this was not supported by other cohort studies in different populations.

Ginkgo Biloba and Cancer

The available human studies do not support the role of Ginkgo biloba as a treatment for cancer, but the published studies were not placebo-controlled, making it difficult to draw conclusions from the data.

St John's Wort and Cancer

In vivo studies suggest that extracts of St John's wort may have apoptotic effects on cancer cells, but human studies have not been conducted to test this hypothesis.

Vitamin E and Cancer

Vitamin E supplementation appears to reduce the risk of chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity and several radiation-induced toxicities, though one study found increased recurrence rates with its use.

Fish Oil and Cancer

Fish oil supplementation may improve chemotherapy-related outcomes, such as time to tumor progression, and may be protective against certain toxicities.

Sugar and Cancer

The data regarding sugar consumption and the increased risk of cancer are not consistent, making it difficult to draw definitive conclusions.

beta-Carotene and Cancer

Data indicate that beta-Carotene should not be recommended as a cancer prevention agent due to lack of efficacy and potential harm among smokers or those exposed to asbestos.

Zinc and Cancer

This fact sheet is a review of study data about the relationship between zinc supplementation and cancer incidence and outcomes.

Magnesium and Cancer

About 60% of Americans are deficient in magnesium, including up to 60% of patients who are critically ill.

Calcium and Cancer

Evidence is mixed about the relationship between calcium intake and colorectal/prostate cancers.

Aspartame and Cancer

Despite controversy, many studies have found no significant association between aspartame consumption and the incidence of different types of solid and hematologic malignancies.

Vitamin A and Cancer

Vitamin A supplementation likely does not reduce chemotherapy efficacy and, for many patients, is unlikely to cause harm.

Vitamin C and Cancer

Though some studies reported improvements in clinical outcomes and quality of life with vitamin C treatment, these findings have not been replicated in randomized controlled studies.

Vitamin B6 and Cancer

Multiple studies evaluated the role of vitamin B6 in cancer risk and its efficacy as an antitumor or anti-toxicity agent.

Dietary Nutrients and Oncogenic HPV Infections

Additional large, well-designed studies are needed to clarify the roles of dietary nutrients in HPV infection persistence and cancer risk.

Green Tea and Cancer

There is limited epidemiologic and lab-experiment evidence that green tea and green tea compounds are capable at high concentrations of affecting tumor biology.

Cranberry Extract and Cancer

The anticancer activity of cranberry has not yet been tested in humans, though preclinical data suggest that cranberry extract may help to treat cancer.

Aspirin and Cancer

Aspirin may play a role in preventing and reducing cancer-specific mortality of particular cancers, including gastrointestinal cancers, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.

Shiitake Mushroom, Lentinan, and Cancer

It's equivocal whether shiitake mushroom supplements benefit any patients with cancer.

Smoking Cessation for Patients With Cancer

NCCN guidelines recommend that smoking cessation be provided as part of oncology treatment.

Vitamin D and Cancer

There is not enough evidence to conclude that vitamin D dietary supplements are an effective intervention for reducing cancer risk or improving cancer outcomes.

Reishi Mushroom and Cancer

Several studies evaluated whether Reishi mushroom-use has an anticancer effect, either alone or synergistically with other treatments.

Turmeric and Cancer

Recent research is inconsistent about whether turmeric supplements can prevent and treat cancer.

Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps

A fact sheet to review the different types of test used to detect colon cancer and polyps.

Follow-up Care After Cancer Treatment

This fact sheet explains what follow-up cancer care is and what patients can expect from it.

Understanding a Cancer Prognosis

This fact sheet explains what a cancer prognosis is and how to understand which factors may impact it.

Palliative Care: Common Questions

This patient fact sheet defines palliative care in nursing and hospice and outlines common issues.

What is Palliative Care?

This fact sheet answers common questions patients may have about palliative care.

How to Help Someone Who is Grieving

This fact sheet contains helpful tips for the grieving process in those who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Young Cancer Patients: How to Cope

This fact sheet provides signs, symptom management tips, treatment options, and more for younger patients coping with cancer.

Financial Assistance for Cancer Patients

This fact sheet provides resources, organizations, and agencies for cancer patients to seek out financial assistance.

Consejos para los proveedores de cuidado: ¿Cómo puede ayudarse usted mismo?

This fact sheet offers Spanish-speaking cancer caregivers tips about how to take time to care for themselves.

Helping Teenagers Who Have Lost a Parent to Cancer

This fact sheet offers tips for helping teenagers cope with the loss of a parent to cancer.

Coping With Grief: How to Help Yourself?

This fact sheet offers tips to caregivers and loved ones focused around caring for themselves during this difficult time.

Fuentes de Asistencia Financiera

This fact sheet for Spanish-speaking patients lists a number of cancer organizations and agencies that provide financial assistance.

Coping With the Stress of Cancer Caregiving

This fact sheets details ways to manage stress, a common occurence among caregivers who struggle to meet competing demands.

"Doctor, Can We Talk About Chemobrain?"

This fact sheet answers questions about chemobrain and how patients can communicate to their health care team about it.

¿Doctor, Podemos Hablar?: Consejos Para Comunicarse con su Médico

This fact sheet for Spanish-speaking patients provides tips for doctors communicating with their health care team.

Metastatic Colorectal Cancer and KRAS Gene Testing

This fact sheet helps patients with metastatic colorectal cancer to learn more about personalized medicine and KRAS gene testing.

Caring Advice for Caregivers: How to Help Yourself?

This fact sheets helps patients to offer care and support systems with cancer caregivers.

Colorectal Cancer: The Importance of Screening and Early Detection

This fact sheet explains the importance of screening for colorectal/rectal/bowel cancer causes, symptoms, and risk factors.

Colorectal Cancer: New Tools for Making Decisions About Treatment

This patient fact sheet explains two tests used in an approach called "personalized medicine."

"Doctor, Can We Talk?": Tips for Your Next Appointment

This fact sheet helps patients prepare for appointments with a list of questions they can ask to help understand treatment.

Managing Cancer Symptoms During the Holidays, Vacation

This patient fact sheet contains tips for coping with cancer during the holiday season.

Finding Cancer Resources, Services in Your Community

This fact sheet describes services available to people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones.

How to Talk to Your Children About Your Cancer Diagnosis

This fact sheet offers tips on how to communicate your cancer diagnosis with your children.

What to Say to a Loved One Newly-Diagnosed With Cancer

This fact sheet offers tips on how to support a loved one recently diagnosed with cancer.

Other Cancer Professionals: Not Just Your Doctor

This fact sheet helps patients learn the different types of healthcare professionals who will help you during cancer treatment.

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