All You Need To Know About Stomach Cancer

What Is Stomach Cancer?

Cancer happens when there is an abnormal growth of cells. The cells of any part of the body can become malignant and spread to other tissues and organs. 

Cancer that starts at the stomach is called stomach cancer or gastric cancer. 

Cancer of the stomach is less common compared to other types of cancer. People usually don’t experience their symptoms during the early stages. After it spreads to the nearby organs, the symptoms become recognizable.

Late diagnosis of the disease makes it very difficult to get treated. This article has all the necessary details one must know about stomach cancer

What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer?

As discussed above, symptoms do not develop in the early stages. It can take up to several years for the symptoms to appear as the cancer of the stomach grows at a slow pace

Some of the early stage symptoms are listed below:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Blood in stool
  • Inflammation of heart
  • Constant bloating
  • Decreased appetite
  • Excessive stomach pain
  • Difficulties in swallowing
  • Pain in the breastbone
  • Feeling satisfied even with a small portion of meals

What Are The Types Of Stomach Cancer?

1. Lymphoma

It is a cancer of the immune system, which protects the body against several infections. There is an abnormal cell growth in the lymph nodes or lymphoid tissue situated in other parts of the body. 
Almost 25% of the lymphomas occur at an extranodal locations.

2. Adenocarcinoma

Cancer that develops in any of the glands in the body is called Adenocarcinoma. Glands release several fluids into tissues through many organs within the body. 

Adenocarcinomas account for cancer of the following areas:

  • Lung
  • Pancreas
  • Breast
  • Prostate
  • Colon


3. Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor

These tumors are sporadic that develops in the walls of the stomach. Not all of these tumors are malignant; some are benign and easily curable. 
People usually get GIST between the age of 40 and 70. Children and young adults can also get struck by the disease in the rarest case. 

What Are The Risk Factors of Stomach Cancer?

Following factors can raise your risk of the disease:

  • Certain Genes
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • A-type blood
  • A diet low in fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Having lots of salty or processed foods
  • Anemia
  • Family history in various types of stomach cancer
  • Chronic stomach inflammation
  • Formation of polyps in the stomach
  • Male sex
  • Growing age


How Is Stomach Cancer Diagnosed?

The doctor takes specific tests to:

  • Diagnose the problem
  • Detect the location up to which cancer has spread
  • Determine the most suitable treatment depending upon the patient’s health

The doctor considers the following factors to choose the test for diagnosis:

  • Your age
  • General health condition
  • Type of cancer
  • Symptoms you are experiencing
  • Medical history

Also Read: Bronchitis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

Following are the diagnostic tests your doctor chooses from:

Endoscopy: In this, the patient is given sedative in the first place. A long and thin tube called an endoscope is inserted into the body of the patient via the mouth. He then passes the machine through the throat to the oesophagus. 

The gastroenterologist can check various organs to detect the presence of abnormalities. The doctor removes a small sample of tissue with an endoscope. It is examined in the laboratory to anticipate the signs of cancer.

Biopsy: In this, small tissue from the affected area is taken and analyzed under the microscope. The test is carried out by a pathologist, who is a person with expertise in rendering lab tests. A biopsy is the only treatment that makes the definitive diagnosis of the disease.

Molecular Testing: In this test, the doctor evaluates the extracted tissue to recognize specific genes and proteins. It can help the doctor to select the right treatment for your specific health condition. 

X-ray: Small radiation is used to photograph different organs of the body from different angles. The doctor detects the issue while accessing the pictures.  

CT Scan: a CT scan is a method in which the doctor uses an X-ray and a computer to click the detailed pictures of various organs in the body. The utilization of a computer system makes it far better than that of a simple x-ray. 

MRI: MRI is done by the doctor to detect the stage of cancer. It makes use of a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create comprehensive pictures of internal organs in the body.

Laparoscopy: This test is done to detect the extent up to which the disease has spread. Several incisions are made in the abdomen to put a thin, lighted tube. The doctor will examine the area nearing the stomach and take biopsies. 

You can go for laparoscopy if the results of other tests are not precise or when cancer has developed where the esophagus connects the stomach. 

What Are The Treatment Alternatives Available For Stomach Cancer?

The treatment you get for stomach cancer depends on your stage, personal preferences, and general health condition:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Palliative Care


How Can You Prevent Stomach Cancer?

  • Add more fresh fruits and vegetables in each of your meals. Some of the best foods you can have to reduce the risk of stomach cancer are lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
  • Avoid salty, smoked, and pickled foods, including salted fish and meat. 
  • There are several benefits associated with regular exercise. Make a move and lower your risk of different types of cancer and other health conditions. 
  • Cigarette cessation will significantly decrease your risk of getting the disease.
  • Obese people are more likely to get stomach cancer. Have a healthy diet and do some physical activity to prevent yourself from the disease. 
  • Certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can lower the risk of cancer. It can cause severe internal bleeding, so don’t take these medicines to prevent stomach cancer.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis or tendonitis, you can take it to treat your pain and inflammation.  




Tags: Stomach cancer treatment, Stomach cancer stages, Stomach cancer diagnosis

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.