Did you know that stomach cancer also referred to as gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in individuals? The stomach holds food temporarily. Mucosal cells produce mucus for lining the stomach. Uncontrolled growth of cells in the stomach leads to what we call stomach or gastric cancer
Adenocarcinoma’s form the majority of stomach cancers.
Gastric Lymphoma, Carcinoid tumor from the stomach cells hormones and gastrointestinal stromal tumors from interstitial cells, cancer of the peritoneum are few other types of stomach cancers.
Symptoms of stomach cancer:
An individual affected by gastric cancer is likely to experience the following early symptoms:
- Consistent indigestion
- A feeling of being rapidly full after meals even when the food was not that much
- Swallowing difficulties
- Bloated stomach after meals
- Severe stomach ache
- Vomiting that may in some situations contain blood
- A feeling of always being tired and out of breath
Advanced stomach cancer may have the following symptoms:
- Lumpiness in the stomach
- Insufficient iron levels in the blood
- Dark stool with blood
- Unexpected Weight Loss
- A feeling of always being tired
- Loss of appetite even on favorite foods
Diagnosing Stomach Cancer:
In a case of suspected possible stomach cancer, your gastroenterologist may use the following diagnostic tools for a confirmation.
- Gastroscopic exam- Using a fiber optic camera and a thin, lighted tube the specialist looks at the patient’s stomach, and biopsy follows.
- Ultrasound scan is used to check in the top part of the stomach
- Laparoscopy may be carried out to determine the extent of cancer.
- To learn other body parts that may have been affected by cancer, a PET CT ot a CT scan is done with series of radiographic images of the body parts.
- In case the doctor suspects that cancer may have affected the liver or other organs, ultrasound scan is carried out for both the upper and lower abdomen.
Stomach Cancer Treatment
Surgery: Apart of the stomach may be required to be removed if the cancer is considered advanced commonly termed as subtotal Gastrectomy. When the whole stomach is removed, the procedure is called total Gastrectomy.
Minuscule tumor cells in the stomach linings are removed by endoscopy. Endoscopic removal is possible, if the cancer is still in the early stages.
Before surgery, neoadjuvant chemotherapy may be administered to reduce size of tumour, bring the disease under control. After surgery adjuvant chemotherapy done to destroy residual cancer cells.
A systemic therapy, chemotherapy includes the use of drugs to stop the cancer cells from dividing and differentiating. The administered drugs travel through the body destroying all cancer cells in other parts of the body as well.
Depending upon stage and spread of cancer, the treatment options may include just chemotherapy or partial or total gastrectomy.