Raising awareness of gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) to help maximize accurate diagnosis and minimize risk of recurrence
Novartis recognizes July awareness milestones in support of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) community
Jul 07, 2016
This July, Novartis is recognizing Sarcoma Awareness Month and GIST Awareness Day (July 13) to support those affected by gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GIST, a rare, life-threatening cancer that occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. GIST is the most common type of sarcoma (rare cancer in connective tissue) found in the GI tract.
In the US, the incidence of GIST ranges from approximately 4,000 to 5,000 cases each year, and in the EU, the incidence of GIST is estimated to be more than 5,000 cases each year.
Diagnosis of GIST can be challenging as the disease may not cause any physical symptoms in its early stages. Research has shown people with rare cancers are two times more likely than those with common cancers to receive multiple diagnoses before physicians are able to accurately identify their disease.
Additionally, while surgery is the standard treatment for GIST, within two years after complete removal of their tumor, almost 50 percent of patients who underwent surgical treatment have a relapse.
To help ensure all aspects of their health are addressed, patients with GIST are encouraged to work with their physicians to form a personal multidisciplinary care team, including a surgeon, oncologist and pathologist. Patients should also attend regular follow-up visits with their physicians to monitor for signs of recurrence and to ensure their treatment plan is working.
Recognizing that many patients and their families experience a variety of emotional and physical challenges when dealing with a GIST diagnosis and daily disease management, Novartis created the Gameplan for After Your Rare Cancer Diagnosis infographic, a step-by-step guide to helping to manage this rare disease.
Visit the Novartis Pinterest page to view the Gameplan for After Your Rare Cancer Diagnosis infographic.