Greater Living
Important: COVID-19 Testing, Booster, & Visitor Policy

Dr. Joseph DiRocco discusses GI Oncology

January 26, 2018
Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer is an unfortunately common disease; however, when caught early, it is extremely treatable. During this Facebook Live, Joseph DiRocco, MD, Medical Director of GI Oncology at GBMC, discusses symptoms and treatments for GI cancer with Ashley James from WMAR-TV.

GBMC has a multidisciplinary team that focuses on GI oncology, using state-of-the-art technology for testing, surgery, and ongoing treatments. Sam Peraino, a patient of Dr. DiRocco's, joined the conversation to describe his experience receiving care at GBMC.

Several years ago, Sam was diagnosed with colon cancer when irregular cells were found during a routine colonoscopy. Sam had shown no symptoms and didn't have a family history of colorectal cancer, so this was an unexpected diagnosis. "The team was great at explaining what was going on," he said.

GI cancers, as well as many other cancers, often don't cause symptoms until the disease has become advanced. Some symptoms of GI cancers include:
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unusual bloating
Sam's story is a prime example of why getting screened is so important. Many people avoid screenings, especially colonoscopies, because they fear the procedure will be unpleasant. Although a preparation drink is still required for a colonoscopy, the experience has significantly improved over the years – the amount of liquid intake has been decreased and there are different flavors to choose from. Getting screened may not be fun, but it can save your life.

Throughout the conversation, Dr. DiRocco answered live and pre-submitted questions about treatments and about how other GI diseases affect the likelihood of developing GI cancer.
IMPORTANT Visitor Policy Changes

Recent Stories
In the Media