Upper Gastrointestinal

Upper gastrointestinal cancers are malignant tumours that occur in the upper part of the digestive system including:

  • Oesophagus
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Gallbladder
  • Bile ducts

The symptoms associated with upper gastrointestinal cancers depend on the location of the tumour. Some common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Constant reflux
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort

There are several risk factors for developing a gastrointestinal tumour. These factors may be genetic (family history of cancer, coeliac disease) and / or lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption).

If you have any of the above symptoms and are concerned please seek consultation with your doctor.


The management of upper gastrointestinal cancers depends on the presenting stage of disease and a patient's general health. Those with localised disease (cancer that has not spread) may have surgery or radiation therapy and /or chemotherapy. Patients with inoperable or metastatic disease (cancer that has spread) may be considered for palliative chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

External Beam Radiation Therapy for Gastrointestinal Cancer
External beam radiation therapy is often used to treat oesophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer but has a limited role for other upper gastrointestinal sites.


External beam radiation therapy services for upper gastrointestinal cancer are available at all Genesis CancerCare Queensland centres.

For Cancer support, education and resources head to our Quick links page.

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