What are Gut Cancers?

Gut cancers are the group of cancers that affect the digestive system. Also know as Gastro-Intestinal (GI) cancers they include cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder and bile duct, pancreas and bowel (the bowel includes the small intestine, large intestine or colon and rectum).


Pancreatic Cancer

Bowel Cancer

Stomach Cancer

Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer


Oesophageal Cancer

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Gallladder & Bile Duct

Risk factors

Following are some risk factors that may increase the chance of developing a gut cancer:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Diet high in animal fat
  • Diet containing high amounts of salted, cured, or poorly preserved foods
  • A diet low in fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Increasing age

Based on the known risk factors for gut cancer, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cancer:

  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Be physically active
  • Eat a diet high in vegetables and fruit
  • Limit your intake of alcohol

For more information on nutrition recommendations and recipes, seeĀ nutrition & recipes

  • Being aware of medical conditions that may increase your risk of developing gut cancers
  • Having a better understanding of your gut health and learning about the way your body naturally functions so that you can recognise any changes in bowel habits
  • Participate in the free Bowel Screening Aotearoa after the age of 60 years (to be rolled out throughout New Zealand by 2020).