Gastrointestinal cancers occur in the digestive system, including both the upper and lower digestive tracts. Older people and those with a strong family history -- a parent or first-degree relative diagnosed with esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, liver, colon, or rectal cancer -- have an increased risk. However, there is compelling evidence that eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and screenings when appropriate, can help prevent cancer.
Studies show that obesity, poor nutrition, and lack of exercise contribute to all cancers, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. Obesity now ranks second only to smoking as the leading cause of cancer, according to a recent report published in the Lancet.