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Gastrointestinal Cancers

In the Division of Gastroenterology, physicians have expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of gastrointestinal cancers. They are internationally recognized for their expertise in colorectal, pancreatic and liver cancer, three of the most prevalent cancers in the US, as well as in esophageal and gastric cancer.

Comprehensive cancer screening and treatment programs allow us to model the best and most appropriate strategies for paient and their families. This is particularly important in colorectal cancer screening and detection where over one third of patients will have a family member with a predisposing condition to this disease.

The physicians offer the latest and most advanced screening, diagnostic and interventional endoscopic approaches and our surgical, oncology and radiological colleagues offer an integrated approach tailored to you.


FOR APPOINTMENTS, CALL: (314) 747-2066 OR (800) 858-3541

Patients may be self-referred

Patients are seen at:

Center for Advanced Medicine
GI Center
4921 Parkview Place, Suite C, Floor 8
St. Louis, MO 63110

Medical Office Building 2
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
10 Barnes West Drive, Suite 200
Creve Coeur, MO 63141

The Washington University specialists who are highly trained in gastrointestinal cancers:

Nicholas O. Davidson, M.D. (Familial and Hereditary Cancers)

Riad Raymond Azar, M.D. (Esophageal cancers)

Jeffrey S. Crippin, M.D. (Hepatocellular cancers)

Dayna S. Early, M.D. (Colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers)

Steven A. Edmundowicz, M.D. (Pancreatic and gastric cancers)

Chandra Prakash Gyawali, M.D.,M.R.C.P. (Gastric cancers)

Kevin Korenblat, M.D. (Hepatocellular cancers)

Mauricio Lisker-Melman, M.D. (Hepatocellular cancers)

Gregory Sayuk, M.D. (Gastric cancers)

Conditions treated by our team of specialists:

Colorectal Cancer: Also called colon cancer or bowel cancer, it includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. It is the third most common form of cancer. Colorectal cancer causes 655,000 deaths worldwide per year.

Esophageal Cancer: This malignancy of the esophagus has various subtypes. Esophageal tumors usually lead to dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), pain and other symptoms, and are diagnosed with biopsy.

Familial and Hereditary Cancers: Some families have higher incidence of gastric and colorectal cancers.

Gastric Cancer: Also called stomach cancer, it can develop in any part of the stomach, and may spread to other organs; particularly the esophagus and the small intestine. Stomach cancer causes nearly one million deaths worldwide per year.

Pancreatic Cancer: This is a malignant tumor within the pancreatic gland. Each year about 33,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with this condition. When discovered late, the prognosis is poor. About 95 percent of pancreatic tumors are adenocarcinomas. The remaining 5 percent are a mixture of other tumors with different diagnostic and therapeutic profiles, and generally a more favorable prognosis.

Liver (Hepatocellular) Cancer: HCC is also called hepatoma and is a primary cancer of the liver. Most cases of HCC arise from either a viral hepatitis infection (hepatitis B or C) or cirrhosis (alcoholism being the most common cause of hepatic cirrhosis).

Leading-Edge Diagnostic Techniques include Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is utilized extensively in the diagnosis and detection of early cancers where the ability to visualize extremely small tumors may make curative surgical resections possible before the tumor has spread. Washington University is a local and regional leader in the use of EUS and FNA in the early diagnosis, staging of intrathoracic and intraabdominal cancers arising in organs of the digestive tract, pancreas and liver.

The Gastrointestinal Cancer Division is involved in Phase I and Phase II trials in hepatocellular and pancreatic cancers. This program is a world leader in the genetic basis of cancer pathogenesis. We are committed to understanding the pathways leading to cancer in order to provide better treatments.

For more information on colorectal cancer and colorectal screening, visit the American Gastroenterological Association website. For liver cancer, visit: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

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Copyright 2014 Washington University School of Medicine
Copyright 2014 Washington University School of Medicine