Categories: Cancer

Stomach Cancer: What is it, Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

When cancerous cells grow in the inner lining of the stomach, stomach cancer is caused. When cancer cells are formed around the lower end of the stomach and the intestines, it is called adenocarcinoma. However, the occurrence of this form of cancer has come down and more and more cases of cancer in the gastroesophageal junction are reported.

In gastroesophageal cancer, there is excessive growth of cancer cells near the junction and this rampant growth causes severe inconvenience and in a few cases, these excessive cancerous growth rupture from the main growth and navigate to other parts of the body.

What are the signs that could indicate stomach cancer?

Symptoms of stomach cancer are:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained vomiting
  • Feeling bloated constantly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Severe heartburn
  • Feeling bloated after small meals

If you’re experiencing any one of these symptoms occasionally, then, it might not be indicating stomach cancer as few of these symptoms are also the same for intestinal gas pain. However, if any of the symptoms are recurring, please consult a medical facility and especially ask for stomach tests as stomach cancer is not generally looked for regular tests unless specified. Stomach cancer, when detected at an early stage, is easily curable as the growth of cancerous cells is still in the nascent stage.

What are the factors that could put me in risk?

Stomach cancer is common for those who have a history of Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Patients with this condition often experience the backflow of gastrointestinal juices into the oesophagus. While many physicians contribute stomach cancer to dietary practices and smoking, it is GERD that is the major contributor.

The other factors that could risk an infection are:

  • A diet that includes large quantities of smoky food
  • A diet that includes a lot of salt
  • Stomach polyps
  • A history with ulcers in the stomach
  • NA diet which neglects essential fruits and vegetables
  • Infections
  • Constant inflammation in the stomach

How Can I Prevent Stomach Cancer?

The exact reason why stomach cancer is caused is not known yet. However, researchers and medical experts have been able to narrow it down to a subset of conditions that trigger the rampant growth of cells in the stomach, thereby causing cancer.

There are ways in which one can reduce the risk of Gastroesophageal junction cancer by making dietary and lifestyle amends. They are:

  • Exercising regularly helps the body function at an improved level and this goes a long way in preventing any new conditions. It is always advised to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Maintain a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables in them. Having a variety ensures that the body receives all the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements naturally.
  • Reduce the intake of salty and smoky foods. This will help prevent any infection as these are common contributors to GERD.
  • Smoking: Smoking is either a cause or a catalyst to more than six hundred and thirty-six diseases known to man. And, stomach cancer is on that list. If you are a smoker, seek medical help or therapy for assistance in quitting.

What Are the Treatment Options for Stomach Cancer?

The treatment options for stomach cancer ranges between targeted drugs to chemotherapy to surgically removing the infected part depending on the stage of its evolution and how early or late the cancer was detected.

Surgery:

If the cancer is detected in an early stage, then there is a surgery that is performed to remove the inner lining of the stomach that is affected by cancer. Likewise, depending on the severity of the condition, some options remove a small portion of the stomach, remove the entire stomach, and remove the lymph nodes for exploring more cancerous locations.

Radiation therapy:

In radiation therapy, strong beams of energy are used to weaken and kill cancer cells in the body. It is also used before surgically removing a cancerous formation, as it shrinks the cancerous cells, thus making it easier to operate surgically.

In cases where cancer has metastasized, radiation treatment is used to manage the side-effects caused by the treatment regime recommended.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that is used before and after surgery to remove cancerous formations in the stomach. Before the surgery, chemotherapy helps in shrinking the formation, thus rendering it easy for doctors to operate on. After surgery, chemotherapy is used to attack and kill any cancerous cells that might have spread to other parts of the body and is at its early stages.

Dr. Ashwinikumar Kudari, Senior Consultant – Gastroenterology – Surgical, Robotic Surgery | Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra

Narayana Health

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