Cancer Treatment Centers of America
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The Gastroenterology Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) in Zion, Illinois, offers advanced treatments for a wide range of digestive system cancers. CTCA® at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) treats patients with colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal, stomach and liver cancer. The gastroenterologists at Midwestern may also help treat lung or breast cancers that have metastasized or spread to the gastrointestinal system. The team is led by experts who diagnose, stage and treat gastrointestinal cancers as well as precancerous conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus, a risk factor for esophageal cancer.

Led by Medical Director of Gastroenterology/Nutrition & Metabolic Support Dr. Pankaj Vashi, gastroenterologists at Midwestern employ a number of minimally invasive techniques to treat tumors and help reduce cancer-related symptoms. These trained clinicians meet with patients to obtain a full medical history, which includes a review of symptoms. The gastroenterologists use diagnostic tests and procedures, such as colonoscopies and endoscopic ultrasounds (EUS). Colonoscopies are used to help diagnose colorectal cancer, and to determine the source of abdominal pain or other symptoms. A gastroenterologist can also conduct a biopsy, if necessary. Similarly, gastroenterologists use endoscopic ultrasounds to obtain images of the GI tract and surrounding regions, by inserting a camera-tipped device into the mouth or rectum.

Pancreatic cancer patients may also benefit from the endoscopic ultrasounds’ numerous therapeutic benefits. It can be used to inject chemotherapy into a pancreatic tumor, which may  shrink tumors and relieve pain. Gastroenterologists can also use the EUS to drain fluid from pancreatic pseudo cysts. In addition, the ultrasounds allow clinicians to insert fiduciary markers onto tumors, enabling radiation oncologists to target tumors more directly.

Learn about our program to treat Barrett's esophagus, a risk factor for developing esophageal cancer.

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