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Stomach Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, and Prevention

Stomach Cancer: Signs, Symptoms, Stages, Treatment, and Prevention

The proliferation of cancerous cells on the stomach’s lining causes stomach cancer, and it can be challenging to identify because most patients hardly show any symptoms in the early stages. As a result, it typically goes undetected until it has spread to other bodily areas in its later stages. A study shows that about 26,380 are diagnosed with stomach cancer this year, of which 15,900 cases are for men and 10,480 for women. Continue reading to learn more about stomach cancer’s causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What Causes Stomach Cancer?

The uppermost portion of your digestive system includes your stomach. The stomach’s job is to digest food and move the nutrients to the rest of your digestive system, especially the small and large intestines. Normal cells in the upper digestive tract that undergo a malignant mutation grow uncontrollably and form a tumor that causes stomach cancer. Most commonly, this kind of tumor grows slowly. A study mentioned that stomach cancer usually takes years to spread, and most people diagnosed with it are in their late 60s.

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What Are the Symptoms of Stomach Cancer?

As mentioned earlier, stomach cancer takes time to spread; the reason behind this is that stomach cancer tends to show symptoms in the last stages. There could be illness signs in various situations, below mentioned are some of the most common signs of stomach cancer:

  • Chronic heartburn
  • Reduced appetite
  • Frequent burping
  • Chronic stomach ache
  • Persistent indigestion
  • Feeling full even after a light snack
  • Uncontrolled vomiting
  • Excess fatigue
  • Difficulty in swallowing

These symptoms are common to other diseases, such as infections or ulcers. As a result, detecting stomach cancer could be difficult. You must consult a doctor if you suffer from one or more of the symptoms mentioned above.

Stages of Stomach Cancer

Each category's findings are combined to assign a stage from 0 to 4. A lower number points toward an earlier stage of cancer. The duration of growth might vary for each individual. Let’s read out the stages to learn about the tumor’s progress.

1. Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)

Only the surface of the stomach lining has abnormal or malignant cells, and the disease has not migrated to the lymph nodes or other organs.

2. Stage 1 (Divided into two stages)

The tumor has invaded the stomach's deepest layers. The lymph nodes surrounding the stomach may or may not have picked up cancer, but it hasn't migrated to other organs.

3. Stage 2 (Divided into two stages)

Cancer has typically progressed to the lymph nodes, and the tumor has penetrated deeper layers of the stomach. It hasn't expanded to different body regions.

4. Stage 3 (Divided into three stages)

The stomach's layers have been penetrated by the tumor more deeply, and possibly other surrounding organs. Although it hasn't yet migrated to distant body parts, cancer has probably spread to the lymph nodes.

5. Stage 4

Cancer doesn’t need to have spread to surrounding or deeper gastrointestinal layers but may have migrated to distant organs such as the liver, brain, or lungs.

See Also: Stomach Surgery | Anchorage, Alaska

How Is Stomach Cancer Diagnosed?

A physical examination to look for abnormalities is required to diagnose stomach cancer. Along with a blood test to screen for anemia, a doctor may also perform a stool test to check for blood to search for potential stomach bleeding.

If your doctor thinks you have signs of stomach cancer, additional diagnostic testing may be required. Diagnostic procedures primarily search the stomach and esophagus for suspected cancers and other anomalies. These tests could consist of the following:

  • A gastrointestinal endoscopy on the upper side
  • A biopsy
  • Health history and physical check-up
  • X-ray of barium swallow
  • Imaging examinations like CT scans
  • Complete blood count (CBC) blood test

Treatment for Stomach Cancer

The treatment procedure depends on the situation and condition of a cancer cell; aspects like age and general health of the patient may be crucial. Along with killing stomach cancer cells, the goal of treatment is to stop the cells from spreading. If stomach cancer is not treated, it may damage the lungs, lymph nodes, bones, and liver.

Treatment for stomach cancer includes one or more of the following depending on the stages:

  • Surgery
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation treatment
  • Chemoradiation
  • Targeted therapy
  • Immunotherapy

How to Prevent Stomach Cancer?

You can lessen your risk of getting stomach cancer by: 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Lowering your alcohol consumption
  • Quitting and avoiding smoking
  • Exercising consistently 

Get Your Stomach Cancer Treated with Far North Surgery!

Getting diagnosed with cancer might cause mental stress, but knowing that there are great survival rates and professional treatments available to alleviate the symptoms can relieve you. Our Doctor, Madhu Prasad, has 30 years of experience providing world-class surgical procedures to his patients. Here at Far North Surgery, we have trained experts to cover your medical requirements at your convenience with personalized treatment options.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment with one of our experts!

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