Uncontrolled division of cells within the stomach results in stomach cancer. It is also called gastric cancer. This disease commonly affects adults over the age of 60. The disease does not show its symptoms in the initial stage. If left undiagnosed and untreated, the cancer may spread to other organs. Men are more affected by stomach cancer than women.
Types of Stomach Cancer
- Adenocarcinomas: 90-95% of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas. It occurs in the inner stomach lining and has two main types, i.e., intestinal-type and diffuse type.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors: It starts in the cells of the stomach wall. It can develop anywhere in the stomach.
- Neuroendocrine tumors: These tumors start developing in the cells of the stomach that act like nerve cells and hormone-making cells in the stomach.
- Lymphomas: It develops in lymphocytes found in the lymphoid tissues present in the inner lining of the stomach.
Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
The symptoms of stomach cancer are:
- Excessive fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Persistent pain in the abdomen (above the belly button)
- Trouble swallowing
- Feeling full even after taking a small amount of snack or meal.
- Black stools
- Vomiting blood
- Unexplained weight loss
If you have one or more of the above symptoms and are suspicious about having stomach cancer, consult a doctor. At HCG Manavata, we have some of the best doctors for stomach cancer treatment in Nashik; they are experienced in delivering the best care for stomach cancer patients.
Causes of Stomach Cancer
The exact cause of stomach cancer remains unknown. However, certain factors increase the risk of stomach cancer. These include:
- H.pylori infection
- Pernicious anemia
- Highly smoked, spicy, or salty diet
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Surgery for stomach ulcers
- Working in certain industries such as coal, metal, timber, or rubber
- Family history of stomach ulcers
- Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
- Prolong gastritis
- Stomach polyps
Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer
The doctor diagnoses the stomach cancer through the following techniques:
- Blood tests: The blood test helps to evaluate the function of organs. It indicates the problem (if any) in organs, such as the liver, that may be affected by cancer.
- Imaging tests: It includes a CT scan, MRI, and positron emission tomography (PET) to confirm the location and extent of its spread throughout the body.
- Endoscopic ultrasound: It involves the insertion of a thin tube with an attached camera through the throat to your stomach. An ultrasound device is used to obtain an image of the stomach. It helps determine the depth to which cancer has affected the stomach walls.
- Biopsy: The doctor obtains the gastric tissue sample for further examination under the microscope in case any suspicious tissue is revealed during endoscopy.
Treatment for Stomach Cancer
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, our specialists strive to deliver the best stomach cancer treatment in Nashik, Maharashtra. Key treatment options available for stomach cancer are:
Surgery: Surgery is the best option if cancer hasn’t spread to other organs. There can be two main reasons for performing surgery. The first is to remove cancer from the stomach. The second is palliative surgery. It is done if the cancer is widespread and cannot be removed completely.
- Surgery for removal of cancer: It includes removing part of the stomach with or without nearby lymph nodes. Different types of surgeries can be done to treat stomach cancer. The surgeries include endoscopic resection, subtotal gastrectomy, total gastrectomy, and lymph node removal.
- Palliative surgery: Palliative surgery focuses on the complete removal of cancer as well as preventing bleeding from the tumor. It includes gastric bypass, subtotal gastrectomy, feeding tube placement, and endoscopy procedures.
Chemotherapy: There are certain drugs used to treat cancer in chemotherapy. Chemotherapy may also be performed before the surgery. Chemotherapy can also be a primary treatment when cancer spreads to distant organs. It helps to shrink the tumor or to slow its growth. Chemotherapy also helps to reduce symptoms. Chemotherapy is given in cycles. Every treatment period is followed by a rest period that allows time for the body to recover.
Targeted drug therapy: Targeted therapy targets the vital cellular processes in the cancer cells. As these processes are specific to cancer cells, the targeted therapy does not affect the healthy cells. It has fewer side effects than chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy: The therapy uses certain medicines to boost the patient’s immune system. The medicines activate the immune system to effectively kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy also interferes with the process that assists the cancer cells in hiding from the immune system, making them vulnerable to the immune system.
Radiation therapy: The therapy uses high-energy radiation that kills cancer cells in a specific area. The therapy treats cancer in different ways.
- Before surgery: Radiation therapy can be used in the early stages of cancer. It helps to shrink cancer and can make it easy to remove with surgery.
- After surgery: When cancer cannot be removed by surgery, the doctor uses radiation therapy and chemotherapy to treat cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do dietary habits reduce the risk of stomach cancer?
Dietary habits that reduce the risk of stomach cancer are:
- The fruits and vegetables have antioxidant properties
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemon, and grapefruit, can neutralize cancer-causing free radicals.
- Vegetables containing beta-carotene act as antioxidants, such as sweet potatoes and carrots.
- Natural cancer fighters such as garlic, onion, leeks, and scallions.
- Whole grain pasta, bread, and cereals
- Beans, fish, and poultry
- Polyphenol-containing green tea
What is the prognosis of stomach cancer?
The statistics on stomach cancer show that the 5-year survival rate is 70% if cancer does not spread to surrounding tissues. However, if it spreads to surrounding tissue, the 5-year survival rate is 32%.
How should I prepare for chemotherapy for stomach cancer?
You should get enough sleep, eat nourishing food and drink lots of water. Keep a balance between physical activity and rest. Seek help from your family member on your first visit to the oncologist. Ask for the help of your loved ones to do daily routine activities such as laundry and grocery shopping to avoid fatigue, as it is a common side effect of stomach cancer chemotherapy. In addition, you should take leave from the office or adjust your workload.
What are the organs affected by metastatic stomach cancer?
Metastatic cancer indicates an advanced stage of cancer. The cancer spreads from lymph nodes to other areas, such as the liver and the abdominal cavity lining. Stomach cancer also commonly spreads to the lungs and bones.