The Digestive System and Cancer Prevention

The digestive system or gastro intestinal system extends from the mouth, pharynx, and oesophagus all the way down to the anus. Many types of cancer occur within this system usually revolving around a specific function or organ.

The Digestive System

The Digestive System:

The digestive system comprises:

Mouth, Tongue & Salivary Gland


Stomach, Pancreas, Liver and Gallbladder.

Large Intestine surrounding the small intestine (Colon).


Prevention of cancer within the digetsive system before an occurrence is extremely important for the following reasons.

1. Presenting symptoms are often so common that they are not taken seriously and as a result a visit to the doctor is often left too late.

2. Cancers of the gastrointestinal system are treatable but success is dependant on early diagnosis.

3. Other Cancers within the digestive system show very little symptom until metastasis to other locations have taken place. Treatment outcomes at this point are often poor.

Having a basic understanding of the digestive system is very important and is essential to preventing possibly many cancers within the human body. We have as usual kept it as simple as possible with diagrams to assist understanding.

The digestive system is essentially responsible for transporting food and drink from the mouth down through our body. During this transport process the gastrointestinal system breaks down the food and drink into elements the body can use and waste material in the form of solids and liquid. The solid waste material is excreted via the anus.

Chewing food in the mouth starts the process of breaking down food. If food is properly chewed (masticated) in the mouth it is in the form of a paste when swallowed and the body has already added many enzymes to assist in the digestive process. Enzymes are secreted via the mouth and tongue from salivary glands.

The stomach is the first stop where food is broken down further preparing the food for digestion. The stomach reduces the food to smaller elements using more enzymes and strong acids.

The prepared food then moves down to the small bowel (intestine) which is about 5 metres long. The small bowel consists of the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum. The small bowel extracts nutrients from the prepared food and transports the nutrients into the body. If the body gets the right nutrients in sufficient quantity it can maintain health much easier relieving much stress and many health issues.

The food material that is left is then moved on into the large bowel (intestine). This is subdivided into the ascending colon, the transverse colon and the descending colon and finally the Sigmoid colon. As the food passes through the large bowel water is extracted.

The waste material is then stored in the rectum before being evacuated via the anus.

Most cancers, about 2/3rds occur in the colons (colorectal cancer) and 1/3rd in the rectum (rectal cancer), which is not unexpected as most fermentation and storage is carried out in these areas.

Cancers in the small bowel are quit rare.

For a description of the problems or symptoms that are experienced when a cancer is formed go to the link below.

Please also bear in mind that many symptoms and most problems that are experienced from the digestive system will not be caused by a cancer. If you have any problems however get them checked early but do not worry unnecessarily.

1. Bowel Cancer - All You Need To Know

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