chapter  8
20 Pages

Gastrointestinal cancer

WithF. Macdonald, C.H.J. Ford, A.G. Casson

Cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus and stomach) are among the most frequent malignancies worldwide, with a characteristic geographical distribution [1]. Over the past several decades, the epidemiology of esophagogastric cancers has altered dramatically, particularly in Western or developed countries [2–5]. Although the reasons for this change are unknown, several risk factors, including tobacco exposure, obesity, diet, Helicobacter pylori infection and gastroesophageal reflux have been implicated [6–11]. Esophageal and gastric cancers are associated with high mortality rates [12], suggesting an aggressive tumor biology.