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Gastrointestinal Cancer Care

Each year, about 250,000 people are diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer, or cancers of the digestive system. These include cancers of the esophagus, stomach, bile duct, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine (colon), rectum and anus.

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers are among the most complicated and difficult to treat because they often are located in hard-to-reach places. These complex cases require experienced oncology teams, coordinated care, and highly sophisticated technology for successful outcomes. Where you go for GI cancer care truly matters.

Why Choose Sarasota Memorial

Sarasota Memorial’s integrated cancer program uses a multidisciplinary team-based approach to leverage our specialists’ collective experience and expertise in diagnosing and treating even the most challenging diseases. What does this mean for our patients?

It means each patient has a dedicated team of highly trained specialists, working together to ensure coordinated, customized care, every step of the way—through diagnosis, treatment, managing treatment side effects, rehabilitation, and supportive care and survivorship. GI cancer care teams include gastroenterologists, endoscopists, diagnostic and interventional radiologists, pathologists, GI oncology surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, oncology nurses, a dedicated oncology nurse navigator, nutritionists and an oncology-certified social worker.

Top-rated for colon cancer surgery, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) is among the top 10 percent of US News-rated, high-performing hospitals for Gastroenterology and GI Surgery (US News, 2017-2018). It is one of only a handful of medical centers in the nation with a multidisciplinary cancer team experienced at performing complex and minimally invasive surgery for gastrointestinal cancers and conditions.

The SMH Gastrointestinal Cancer Specialty Program is led by Medical Director Dr. Kenneth Meredith, an internationally recognized robotic GI oncology surgeon and a pioneer in minimally invasive and robotic techniques for treating GI cancers. Dr. Meredith specializes in surgical treatments for hepatopancreaticobiliary, esophageal, and other GI malignancies.

The program features an infusion center, offering chemotherapy and targeted therapies, as well as the latest imaging technology and robotic surgery tools, giving our patients access to the most advanced surgical and non-surgical cancer treatments available. That translates to more treatment options for our patients, and for Suncoast residents, it means expert cancer care close to home.


Navigating GI Cancer

No two patients are the same, and neither are their cancer journeys.
Need help navigating yours?
Contact GI Cancer Nurse Navigator Kristi Stetson at 941-917-7390 or kristi-stetson@smh.com.

GI Cancers We Commonly Treat

Many different types of cancer fall under the umbrella of gastrointestinal oncology. Below is a list of the GI cancers that Sarasota Memorial commonly treats. If you’re seeking care for a specific or rare cancer that isn’t on this list, please call our GI Cancer Navigator at 941-917-7390, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

  • Anal cancer
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Colon cancer (colorectal cancer)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor
  • Gastrointestinal Stomal Tumor
  • Hepatopancreaticobiliary cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumor
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Rectal cancer (colorectal cancer)
  • Small intestine cancer
  • Stomach cancer (gastric cancer)

Cancer Treatments

Sarasota Memorial offers traditional cancer treatment options like chemotherapy, as well as the most innovative, minimally invasive solutions, including image-guided therapies and DaVinci Robotic-assisted surgery.

Minimally invasive procedures have less impact on the patient’s body, which means less pain for the patient, faster recovery, and reduced risk of complication or infection.

Our dedicated, nationally recognized GI Surgery team offers a broad range of surgical options for gastrointestinal cancer; some of the most common include:

  • Laparoscopic and DaVinci Robotic procedures, including:
    * Laparoscopic and Robotic Esophagectomy
    * Laparoscopic and Robotic Tumor Staging
    * Laparoscopic and Robotic Splenectomy
    * Laparoscopic and Robotic Colectomy
    * Robotic Pancreatectomy (Whipple)
    * Robotic Gall Bladder Removal
  • Resections of esophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, colon and rectal cancer
  • Whipple procedure for pancreatic tumors
  • Peritoneal chemotherapy with cytoreduction surgery

Nonsurgical treatments include:

  • Biotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Radiation therapy (by referral)
  • Imaging-guided treatments, including embolization and ablation therapies
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation and other tissue/tumor ablation for Barrett’s esophagus and early-stage esophageal cancers
  • Endoscopic Services
  • Enternal stent placement
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)
  • TheraSpheres (liver cancer)

Cancer Care Beyond Treatment

At Sarasota Memorial, we treat more than just the cancer. Our care focuses on the whole person, helping patients—and their families—through the physical, emotional and mental effects of cancer.

GI Cancer Tumor Board

Our GI Cancer Tumor Board is a multidisciplinary group of physcians and other providers who get together to discuss individual cases, bringing the full attention of our entire oncology team to each case. This approach ensures our patients benefit from multiple expert opinions to develop the most comprehensive care plans.

Accreditations & Honors

  • Sarasota Memorial’s Cancer Care services are fully accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer
  • Rated as a High Performer (top 10 percent in the nation) for Gastroenterology and GI Surgery, US News 2017-2018
  • One of only 48 hospitals in the US to receive US News’ top rating in all evaluated conditions/procedures, including colon cancer surgery
  • The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has awarded Sarasota Memorial a certificate of recognition for promoting quality in endoscopy.

More Resources for Patients and Caregivers

GI Cancer Screening and Diagnostics
Digestive disorders
Cancer and caregiver tips and news 
Printable resources
SMH Published Research Related to GI Cancer
Cancer info office, call 941-917-1981