Types of Cancer We Treat

At Riverside, you have the expertise and support of an entire team because our cancer care professionals address the full continuum of care – from expert diagnosis to advanced treatments to recovery and survivorship. Gastrointestinal cancers include several different types of cancers and all are treated with personalized care at Riverside:

  • Anal cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Small intestine cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Our GI team at Riverside is the best in the region and specially trained in minimally invasive techniques for diagnosis and treatment options. Patients with gastrointestinal cancers may have increased health risks due to comorbidities, such as high blood pressure and chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes. We provide advanced treatment options to target your type of cancer, including stereotactic radiosurgery or immunotherapy. You can count on specialized care at Riverside with your goals in mind.

Your GI Cancer Care Team at Riverside

It’s hard enough to fight cancer without spending extra time meeting with individual members of your cancer team. Riverside brings your entire team together – to make your life easier and your treatment more coordinated. Each cancer team meets together and discusses your diagnosis and treatment plan through our Tumor Board meetings, including any issues or concerns during your treatment and ongoing disease monitoring. 

At other organizations, these meetings may just include the doctors involved in your care, but at Riverside, we bring the entire team together. This means that your nurse, patient navigator and dietitian all have a voice in care and how you are managing treatments. Every member can offer suggestions on improving your quality of life as you go through each care phase. Patients with gastrointestinal cancers benefit from a comprehensive and collaborative team, including:

  • Medical oncologist
  • Surgical oncologist
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Interventional radiologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Pathologist
  • Medical physicist
  • Dosimetrist
  • Medical oncology nurse
  • Radiation oncology nurse
  • Radiation therapist
  • Patient navigator
  • Social worker
  • Dietitian
  • IT oncology specialist

Esophageal Cancer Expertise at Riverside

Esophageal cancer can occur at any point in your esophagus – a long tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Generally, cancerous cell growth begins in the lining of the esophagus, so you may experience issues with swallowing, indigestion, coughing, abnormal voice changes or unexplained weight loss. It is critical to talk with a specially trained gastroenterologist to identify the cause of your concerns if you have any issues with these persistent symptoms.

For diagnosis, our GI team may order a barium swallow study, conduct an endoscopic exam or take a tissue biopsy for analysis. If cancer cells are present, a series of imaging studies will determine the extent of your cancer, including:

  • Computed tomography (CT/CAT scan)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Upper gastrointestinal series/barium swallow

At Riverside, your entire cancer team will work together to determine the best treatment plan for your needs. Your team may use a combination of therapies to treat your cancer. In collaboration with the thoracic surgery team, surgery may be required to remove a cancerous tumor. With extensive clinical expertise in interventional and EUS techniques, many times our specialized GI physicians are able to biopsy and treat the tumor rather than this more extensive esophageal surgery. Our team will provide the optimal solution for your specific needs based on your stage of cancer, preferences and overall health.

Advanced Treatments for Liver Cancer

Significant advances have been made to treat liver cancer and Riverside is at the forefront of this technology. We provide radioembolization treatment for liver cancer which delivers targeted cancer treatment directly to cancer tumors in the liver – all with a minimally invasive catheter-based technique. These cancer-fighting particles stay in the tumor, blocking blood flow to the cancer cells to shrink the tumor. As with all cancer treatments at Riverside, your team will continuously monitor your treatment for safety and effectiveness.  

Your liver cancer team will identify your specific type and stage of liver cancer with a series of diagnostic imaging and staging tests which may include:

  • Abdominal Ultrasound
  • Computed tomography ( CT/CAT scan)
  • Hepatic arteriography
  • Liver Biopsy
  • Liver function test
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Advanced treatments such as radioembolization or stereotactic surgery may be treatments that will work best for your liver cancer diagnosis. At Riverside, the entire cancer care team will work together for the treatment plan that will most effectively work for you. Other treatments may include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy. You can rest assured that Riverside has the expertise and full range of treatments to treat your liver cancer so you can move on to recovery and survivorship.   

Advanced Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer

Stereotactic radiosurgery is an advanced treatment option for our patients with pancreatic cancer. Our state-of-the-art radiosurgery system at Riverside is currently the only one in Virginia, located in our Radiosurgery Center specializing exclusively in stereotactic radiosurgery. This new technology and our team of experts provide extreme precision and low toxicity, targeting cancer cells precisely while avoiding healthy tissue. 

With a combination of advanced diagnostic and treatment protocols, your Riverside pancreatic cancer team will provide expert imaging for diagnosis and pancreatic cancer staging, including:

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic ultrasound- (EUS)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • PET Scan
  • Ultrasound

For pancreatic cancer treatment, your team will rely on a range of options, perhaps a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation oncology. For surgical interventions, our surgery team offers several choices to match your specific needs, including:

  • Distal Pancreatectomy
  • Total Pancreatectomy
  • Whipple Procedure

With access to research and clinical trials through our academic medical center partnership with VCU Health and affiliations with pharmaceutical partners, immunotherapy is available at Riverside. This therapy is extending lives and improving the quality of life for our patients. Our team will provide the resources and support you need for any stage of pancreatic cancer, including medication or procedures to reduce or relieve any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.  

Proactive Approach to GI Cancer Prevention

Gastrointestinal cancers can be inherited due to a family history of cancers, but healthy lifestyles can significantly reduce your risk of GI cancers. Eating healthy fruits and vegetables, reducing your consumption of red meats and staying active contributes to a stronger GI system. 

Routine colorectal screenings are also a very proactive approach to reducing your chance of cancer. Regularly scheduled colonoscopies based on your risk factors identify polyps before they become cancerous. 

For more information about Riverside’s gastrointestinal services, contact one of our team members.