Dr. Sanket Mehta

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When Should I Worry About Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the stomach and spreads to other parts of the body. The stomach is a small pouch located near the top of your abdomen, slightly below your ribs.

When Should I Worry About Stomach Cancer?

Introduction

Stomach cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the stomach and spreads to other parts of the body. The stomach is a small pouch located near the top of your abdomen, slightly below your ribs. Also, before breaking down and digesting the food you eat, your stomach takes it in and holds it.

The location of cancer in the stomach is one-factor doctors evaluate when choosing your treatment options. Surgery to remove stomach cancer is also a common aspect of the treatment. As a result, here’s all you need to know about stomach cancer.

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer, often known as gastric cancer, can occur anywhere in the stomach. Furthermore, in most regions of the world, stomach cancer develops in the primary section of the belly.

This cancer grows in the stomach’s inner lining. Bloating, stomach pain, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and weight loss are alarming symptoms of stomach cancer.

Gastric cancer types

  • Adenocarcinomas

Adenocarcinomas make up most stomach cancers (90 percent to 95 percent). Also, these malignancies arise from gland cells in the stomach’s innermost lining (the mucosa).

It’s nearly invariably an adenocarcinoma if you’re informed you have stomach cancer (or gastric cancer). There are two types of stomach adenocarcinomas: adenocarcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

  • Gastrointestinal stromal 

Tumors develop in the lining of the intestine (GISTs). These rare cancers begin in the very early stages of interstitial cells of Cajal, which are cells in the stomach wall. GISTs can begin anywhere in the digestive tract, although most begin in the stomach. Some GISTs are far more likely than others to spread to other body sections or expand into other places.

  • Tumors of the neuroendocrine system (including carcinoids)

Neuroendocrine cancers begin in cells in the stomach (or other regions of the digestive tract) that operate in some ways like nerve cells and others like hormone-producing (endocrine) cells. Most NETs develop slowly and do not move to other organs; others might proliferate and spread. Also, gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine (Carcinoid) Tumors delves deeper into NETs.

  • Lymphomas

Lymphocytes, which are immune system cells, are where these malignancies begin. Lymphomas typically begin in other places of the body. However, some might begin in the stomach wall. The type of lymphoma and other factors influence treatment and prognosis for various tumors. 

  • Other types of cancer

Squamous cell carcinomas, small cell carcinomas, and leiomyosarcomas are all malignancies that can start in the stomach, but they are scarce.

Warning signs of stomach cancer

The early signs of this cancer are hazy and might be mistaken for other, less severe illnesses. They are as follows:

  • Indigestion and heartburn that won’t go away
  • Wind suffocation and frequent burping
  • After meals, you may feel full or bloated.
  • Stomach discomfort that doesn’t go away

Advanced stomach cancer can cause the following symptoms

  • Stools with blood in them, or black stools
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Slimming down

When to worry about stomach cancer?

If you detect any signs or symptoms that concern you, book an appointment with oncologist doctor. Also, your doctor would most likely start by looking at the more prevalent causes of these signs and symptoms.

The following are some of the factors that enhance the risk of stomach cancer:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) 
  • Obesity
  • A diet low in fruits 
  • Vegetables high in salty or smoked food
  • Stomach cancer in the family
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Inflammation in the stomach (gastritis)
  • Stomach polyps caused by smoking

Moreover, the current guidelines state that any unexplained abdominal complaints that persist inspite of medications for more than 2 weeks warrant investigations including an imaging like a CT scan and endoscopy to rule out a cause which includes a cancer.

Treatment of advanced stomach cancer

Many factors influence your treatment options. Cancer’s location and stage (the amount it has spread) are critical. You and your cancer care team will consider your age, overall health, and personal preferences when deciding on a treatment strategy. Using two or more types of treatment is frequently the best option.

The following are the most common therapies for stomach cancer:

  • Surgery is the treatment of choice to remove all malignant tissue of stomach cancer.
  • A gastrectomy is a procedure that removes part or all of the stomach. It will be feasible to eat regularly following a gastrectomy, although you will most likely need to reduce your portion sizes.
  • Treatment Using Targeted Drugs
  • Stomach Cancer Immunotherapy 
  • Radiation Therapy 

Conclusion

You can reduce your chance of this cancer by doing the following:

  • BMI – First and foremost, if you’re overweight or obese, speak with your doctor about weight-loss choices. In addition, strive for a weekly weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds.
  • A diet rich in fruits and vegetables – Make an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Stop smoking – Smoking increases your risk of stomach cancer as well as a range of other cancers. Also, if you’re having problems stopping smoking, get medical advice.

Talk to your doctor about your risk of stomach cancer if you think you might be at risk. In addition, for persons with a strong family history of stomach cancer, testing such as endoscopy may be considered to check for signs of stomach cancer.

For more information on stomach cancer, connect with our team of experts

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