Stomach Cancer


The stomach is an organ in the upper portion of the esophagus. After food is chewed and swallowed, it enters the throat and chest through the food pipe called the esophagus It is responsible for digesting food and moving the nutrients along the rest of the digestive organs like the small and large intestines.

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer. It develops when abnormal cells divide and multiply at an unusual rate to form a mass of tumor in the lining of the stomach. Stomach cancer usually does not cause early symptoms and develops over many years. On account of this it goes undetected in the early stages. It remains undiagnosed until it spreads to other parts around the stomach or in other distant body parts.

Risk factors of stomach cancer

The factors that increase the risk of developing stomach cancer are:

  • Lymphoma
  • H. pylori bacterial infections
  • Tumors in other parts of the digestive system
  • Stomach polyps

Symptoms of stomach cancer

Early stage of stomach cancer is usually asymptomatic and this primarily why stomach cancer is so hard to detect in early stages. These signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include:

  • Poor appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling and fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Low RBC count (anemia)
  • A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen
  • Vague discomfort in the abdomen

Treatment Options For Stomach Cancer

Surgery

Stomach cancer that has not spread can be removed by surgery where part of the esophagus or stomach is removed where the tumor is located. Lymph nodes that are near the stomach are typically removed as well.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. The energy beams come from a machine that moves around you as you lie on a table.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs travel throughout your body, killing cancer cells that may have spread beyond the stomach.

Supportive (palliative) care

Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness. Palliative care specialists work with you, your family and your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support that complements your ongoing care. Palliative care can be used while undergoing aggressive treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

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