What is GIST?
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GISTs, are a relatively uncommon type of cancer that occurs in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon). GISTs belong to a class of diseases called sarcomas, cancers that begin in the connective tissues, which include fat, muscle, blood vessels, deep skin tissues, nerves, bones and cartilage. (quoted from novartisoncology.us)
GIST is not treatable via traditional chemo and radiation but there is hope through new targeted therapies such as Gleevec, Sutent, Nexavar and others. I am currently having success with Nexavar after 3 years on Gleevec and failing Sutent.
Either one can also be found on Facebook. They’re both wonderful communities of support and information on treatments, surgery, clinical trials etc! They’ve been an invaluable resource for me as I’ve tried to navigate my way through treatments and there are even links to help you find ways to pay for the outrageously priced meds if your insurance is uncooperative (hard to imagine right?)