Some potential treatments to consider
Depending on the stage of the cancer, several treatments may be available.
These can include:
Smaller tumors can be removed through surgery. Larger tumors are usually treated with medicine before surgery is attempted.
This involves monitoring a patient’s condition carefully without giving any treatment until signs or symptoms appear or change.
Aims to prevent, or treat, the symptoms of a disease, side effects caused by treatment, or other psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to a disease or its treatment.
Uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Radiation is typically used to ease the pain and symptoms of GIST.
Uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. There are some chemotherapy medicines available to patients with GIST, but not many, and these are not a standard treatment for this type of cancer. Because other cells in the body also divide very quickly (bone marrow cells and hair follicles, for example), these cells are also often affected by chemotherapy. This can lead to certain side effects. Therefore, it is rarely used to treat GIST. More often, a therapy that acts on specific or unique features of cancer cells is more often used in combination with surgery.
Other drugs that inhibit a specific or unique feature of cancer cells
Drug therapy that treats GIST in a few different ways. SUTENT is one of those therapies; it blocks an enzyme and keeps tumors from making their own blood vessels, which are needed to deliver oxygen and other nutrients to help them survive and grow. In so doing, SUTENT can slow cancer growth and may prevent the spread of cancer cells. SUTENT is not a cure, and not all patients will experience the same results.