Childhood Cancer

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Chapter 15. Liver, Stomach, and Intestines

Food is an important part of a balanced diet.

Fran Lebowitz

THE LIVER, STOMACH, AND INTESTINES are part of the body’s gastrointestinal (GI) system. This system extracts useful nutrients from food to help the body grow and function well. Different parts of this system perform different jobs. Some areas mix and store food, some help in chemical breakdown, and others absorb nutrients and store waste materials.

This chapter starts with a discussion of the functions of the liver. It outlines signs and symptoms of damage to the organ, how to screen for and detect late effects, and recommended medical management if problems arise. Next, the functions of the stomach and intestines are explained. Finally, a brief discussion of an uncommon late effect—gallstones—is included. Several survivors share stories of the late effects they developed and how they coped with them.