Is a GIST always malignant?
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTS) happen when cells lining your digestive tract grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, creating a mass of tissue called a tumor. GISTs can be cancerous. Some people with GIST may not notice changes in their health, while others may feel unwell or have pain or bleeding.
What percentage of GIST tumors are malignant?
Eighteen percent (range, 5–40%) of GISTs were discovered incidentally. GISTs were found in the stomach (56%) (Figure 1), small bowel (32%) (Figure 2), colon and rectum (6%) (Figure 3), esophagus (0.7%), and other locations (5.5%) (15). About 10% to 30% of GISTs progress to malignancy.
How often is a GIST cancerous?
GISTs are rare, making up less than 1% of all gastrointestinal tumors. Each year, approximately 4,000 to 6,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with a GIST.
How serious is a GIST?
Small GIST s may cause no symptoms, and they may grow so slowly that they have no serious effects. People with larger GIST s usually seek medical attention when they vomit blood or pass blood in their stool due to rapid bleeding from the tumor.
Is a low grade GIST tumor malignant?
GIST starts in an interstitial cell of Cajal (ICC’s), a special cell found only in the wall of the GI tract. These cells are part of the autonomic nervous system and play a role in how we digest food. GIST tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancer).
Are some GIST tumors benign?
Although it was previously believed that some cases of GIST are benign (do not spread), it is now understood that all GISTs have some potential to metastasize, with risk ranging from very low to high.
Do GIST tumors come back?
Because of the risk that a GIST may come back after treatment, doctors often recommend follow-up visits every 3 to 6 months for at least several years after treatment, and then possibly less frequently afterward.
Can GIST tumors disappear?
Rarely, imatinib may cause a small tumor to disappear completely. Imatinib has dramatically affected the outcome of patients with metastatic GIST. As stated above, the 2 year survival in metastatic GIST from the time of imatinib therapy is about 80%.