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Stomach Cancer - Overview


Stomach cancer starts with the formation of cancerous cells in the inner lining of stomach and these cells then grow into a tumour. This disease grows slowly and takes years to spread. Being aware and cautious of the signs and the symptoms of stomach cancer and diagnosis of the disease at the right time can help a person to prevent it.

The post here contains information on stomach cancer awareness, stages prognosis, causes, risk factors, diet, symptoms, prevention and screening methods.

Stomach Cancer Symptoms

Stomach cancer rarely shows any noticeable symptoms at an early stage. Some vague symptoms can be indigestion, loss of appetite and burning sensation in the stomach. As the cancer advances patient can experience fatigue, bloating of stomach after meals, weakness, constipation or occasional vomiting.

Stomach Cancer Causes

Scientists are still not sure of the real causes of the stomach cancer; however, a study on the stomach cancer cases reveals few common risk factors.:

  • Smoking plays a major role in increasing the risk of developing cancer
  • Obesity is also one of the key factors in developing cancer
  • Genetics also contribute to stomach cancer

Types of Stomach Cancer

  • Adenocarcinoma: It is the most common type of stomach cancer which accounts for 95% of stomach cancers.
  • Carcinoid: Hormone producing cells can cause this cancer and is very rarely found in stomach.
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST): The epicenter of this cancer is specific nervous system cells found in the stomach.

Stomach Cancer Stages

There are four stages in stomach cancer.

  • Stage 1: It can be further differentiated as 1A and 1B
    1. Stage 1A: The cancer may have spread into layer of tissue next to stomach wall.
    2. Stage 1B: The cancer may have spread into layer of tissue next to stomach wall and in nearby lymph nodes.
  • Stage 2: The cancer may have spread into the layer between the muscles and the internal membrane of stomach wall and is found in 3 to 6 lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3: The cancer may have spread to nearby organs such as spleen, kidney, diaphragm etc. and has its presence more than 7 lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body and cure at this stage is rarely possible.

Stomach Cancer Prognosis

A study of survival statistics of people in similar conditions shows people who have survived at least 5 years after their cancer diagnosis were facing following stages of the cancer.

  • Stage 1A- 71%
  • Stage 1B- 57%
  • Stage 2- 39%
  • Stage 3- 14%
  • Stage 4- 4%

Stomach Cancer Treatment

There are several treatments methods available for stomach cancer. It depends on what stage the person is diagnosed with the disease:

Surgery:

The doctor may remove a part of the stomach or the infected tissues surrounding by. If the cancer has advanced he may remove the whole stomach.

Chemotherapy:

These drugs don't allow the cancer cells from growing and kills them. You may take this orally or through an IV in hospitals.

Chemo radiation:

It is a mix of radiation (high energy waves) and chemo, which is often done before surgery to shrink the size of tumor.

Targeted drugs:

These drugs target only cancer cells unlike chemo and radiation which harm healthier cells also. Many drugs such as Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is approved against stomach cancer.

Stomach Cancer Prevention

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid highly salted and smoked foods
  • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol
  • Avoid getting employed in rubber and coal industry

To live healthy & happy, one must keep a check on the body’s functioning by going for regular health checkups. This helps in assessing risk factors and diagnosing diseases at an early stage, which will result in effective treatment and better management of the condition.

Know your complete health status by full body checkup packages designed and facilitated by Indus Health Plus, the preventive checkup specialist.

To share a good word, clear any doubts, resolve concerns, receive health tips or to extend a suggestion, Fill the query form and we will get in touch with you soon.

Stay healthy & happy!

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