Gastrointestinal cancers are collectively the most common malignancies in the world. In the United States, colorectal cancer accounts for most of these malignancies. This is unfortunate, because colorectal cancer is highly preventable. Moreover, screening for colorectal cancer is cost effective and becomes increasingly important in an aging population. Individuals who are more at risk require earlier screening and intervention. For all gastrointestinal cancer, surgery remains the most important curative option. For patients who cannot be cured, quality of life is the yardstick by which palliative options should be evaluated.