Gastrointestinal Cancer

Whether you are concerned about your cancer risk or are seeking treatment, the team of multidisciplinary cancer specialists at the Norma Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital work together to develop an individual treatment plan just for you.  Our team of experts includes medical oncologists, surgeons, hematologists, colorectal surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, gastroenterologists and clinical staff.

This collaboration provides patients and families with a combination of advanced diagnostic services, care and support for every stage of disease.

Types of Cancer

The multidisciplinary team of specialists at Bridgeport Hospital provide screenings and tests, diagnosis and treatments for all types of gastrointestinal cancer.

Screening and Tests

Some types of gastrointestinal cancers have no symptoms in the early stages. For this reason, it is important to speak with your doctor about regular recommended screenings. Common screenings and tests used for detection or diagnosis include:

If you have a family history of gastrointestinal cancer, such as colon, stomach, pancreatic or esophageal cancer, talk to your doctor about additional screening and prevention recommendations. Bridgeport Hospital offers genetic counseling services in partnership with Yale Cancer Center. Click here for more info.

Treatment Approach

Because every patient is unique and no cancer progression is the same, we work closely with you from diagnosis to tailor a treatment plan that takes your unique needs into account while ensuring the best outcome.

Developing a treatment plan involves taking into consideration the size and location of the tumor, results of the lab tests, stage of the disease, the degree to which it has spread, your age and general health as well as your preferences about treatment.

Typically, four types of treatment may be used in gastrointestinal cancers: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. You may receive just one form of treatment or a combination.

If your doctor determines that the tumor can be removed by surgery, one or a combination of the following procedures may be used:

  • Endoscopic resection: Removes cancerous or abnormal tissues in the digestive tract
  • Local excision: Removes superficial cancers and a small amount of nearby tissue
  • Resection: Removes cancerous tissues and all or part of the organ on which it is spreading
  • Radiofrequency ablation: Uses a probe that releases high-energy radio waves that kill cancer cells
  • Hepatic artery embolization: Blocks the hepatic artery – the main blood vessel that brings blood into the liver. Blocking the flow of blood to the liver helps kill cancer cells growing there.

Our clinical team includes world-class oncology surgeons from Yale School of Medicine, who specialize in complex surgical techniques to treat patients. Many of our surgical approaches utilize the latest minimally invasive techniques, which results in shorter hospitalizations and faster recoveries.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays and other types of radiation to kill cancer cells. Treatments are done at our dedicated Radiation Oncology Center in Trumbull and may include external beam radiation therapy, image-guided radiation therapy and sterotactic body radiation therapy.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. Chemotherapy may be taken by mouth; injected into a vein or muscle; or placed directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, an organ or a body cavity to target more specific areas. The way chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

Chemoembolization is a regional chemotherapy that may be used to treat a gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor that has spread to the liver.

Hormone therapy stops extra hormones from being made and may slow tumor growth.

Your clinical team is able to document and review all of your records, consultations and test results using an electronic medical record. You can also access these records through the MyChart patient portal.

Our Doctors

The specialized gastrointestinal cancer team of The Norma F. Pfriem Cancer Institute at Bridgeport Hospital treats adult men and women at all stages of cancer.

Our board-certified and/or fellowship-trained physicians are dedicated to providing comprehensive treatment and preserving your quality of life. Physician offices are conveniently located throughout Fairfield County, including Bridgeport, Fairfield and Trumbull.

Find a Doctor

Contact Us

For general information about gastrointenstinal cancer services:

The Dr. Richard W. Kmetzo Cancer Resource Center
Phone: (203) 384-3904, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Fax: (203) 330-7455