UNDERSTANDING STOMACH CANCER
The growth of uncontrolled cells in the stomach causes stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer.
Diet and lifestyle are associated with stomach cancer, although the exact cause is unknown. Most stomach cancers occur in people over 55 years old. The majority of stomach cancer patients are in their 60s and 70s. Men are twice as likely as women to develop stomach cancer.
Detecting stomach cancer early can save lives. Stomach cancer can be cured if found early. The patient is often not diagnosed with stomach cancer until it has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs.
SYMPTOMS OF STOMACH CANCER
HOW TO DIAGNOSE?
- Blood tests. Tests of blood to measure organ functions may reveal whether other organs, including the liver, may be affected by cancer.
- Scanning tests. PET and CT scans are two types of tests.
- Endoscopic ultrasound. Endoscopic ultrasounds involve passing a thin tube with a camera down your throat and into your stomach. Images of your stomach are created using an ultrasound tool. Through an endoscopy, doctors can determine how deeply cancer penetrates the stomach wall.
- Exploratory surgery. If your cancer has spread outside of your stomach or into your chest or abdomen, your doctor may recommend surgery. Laparoscopic exploration is typical of exploratory surgery. A small incision is made in your abdomen and a camera is inserted that transmits images to a monitor.
- Surgically removing early-stage stomach tumors.
- A surgical procedure in which an entire stomach is removed (subtotal gastrectomy).
- Surgery to remove the entire stomach (total gastrectomy)
- Surgically removing lymph nodes to detect cancer.
An effective method of treating cancer that has spread beyond the stomach is chemotherapy. Chemicals are used when chemotherapy is administered to kill cancer cells.
Depending on the procedure, chemotherapy may be given before or after the operation. It is given before the cancer is removed for easy removal and in some cases given after to kill any cancer cells that were left behind.
A drug treatment used to fight cancer by boosting the immune system. As cancer cells produce proteins, the immune system has difficulty recognizing the dangerous cancer cells and attacking them. This therapy makes it easier for our immune system to fight cancer. The use of immunotherapy for stomach cancer is sometimes necessary if the disease is advanced, if it returns, or if it spreads.
X-rays and protons are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells. As you lie on a table, you are surrounded by energy beams from a machine.
Radiation therapy is used to shrink the cancer so that the cancer can be removed more easily. Sometimes it is used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that might remain. In many cases, radiation therapy is combined with chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy is often used to treat advanced stomach cancers that cannot be surgically removed.
If you seek out the help of the appropriate doctor in the early stages, you will have a better chance of curing quickly.
Take a look at the symptoms, causes, and prevention to be aware of the problem.