Stomach cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that starts in the stomach. The muscular sac is located in the upper middle abdomen just below the ribs. Your stomach holds and receives the food you consume and further helps break down the food and digest it.
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, may affect any part of your stomach. In most cases, it has been found that stomach cancers form or develop in the central part of your stomach. Surgery is the only treatment that helps in removing cancer from the stomach. Your doctor may recommend other treatments after or before undergoing surgery. Before knowing the treatments for stomach cancer, it is essential to be aware of the symptoms of this condition.
Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Symptoms or signs of stomach cancer may involve:
- 1. Indigestion
- 2. Heartburn
- 3. Stomach pain
- 4. Vomiting
- 5. Nausea
- 6. Difficulty swallowing
- 7. Feelings bloated after eating
- 8. Unintentional weight loss
- 9. Feeling full after having a small number of meals or food.
Types Of Stomach Cancer
About 90 to 95% of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas. Most of the time, these type of cancers develops from your gland cells in the innermost lining of your stomach. If your doctor says that you have gastric or stomach cancer, it will be adenocarcinoma.
However, there are mainly two types of stomach adenocarcinomas which are explained below.
- 1. Diffuse – this kind of cancer develops and spreads more rapidly. This is not a common type of cancer and is difficult to treat.
- 2. Intestinal – this is another kind of stomach cancer. It has a slightly better prognosis or outlook. Cancer cells have specific gene changes, which may allow for treating this condition with targeted drug therapy.
Moreover, other types of cancer may begin in your stomach, such as neuroendocrine tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs), and Lymphomas.
Neuroendocrine tumors involving carcinoids
Neuroendocrine tumors start in cells in your stomach and other organ or parts of the digestive tract, this may act like nerve cells in various ways and like hormone-making cells. This kind of cancer grows or develops gradually and doesn’t spread among other organs. However, in some cases, it may spread more rapidly.
This kind of cancer starts in the immune system cells. This majorly begins in other parts of your body. However, it can begin in the wall of your stomach. The outlook or treatment for these types of cancers depends on the type of lymphoma and different factors.
These kinds of cancers are uncommon and start in early forms of cells in the stomach wall, known as interstitial cells. It is more likely to grow in other parts and spread to other parts of your body. Though this kind of cancer can grow anywhere in your digestive tract, it probably starts in the stomach wall.
Causes of stomach cancer
The following are some factors that can increase stomach cancer.
- 1. Consumption of alcohol
- 2. Being obese or overweight
- 3. Smoking tobacco
- 4. Infection with bacteria helicobacter pylori
- 5. Chronic gastritis is inflammation of the stomach.
- 6. Hereditary or family history of stomach cancer
- 7. Pernicious anaemia
- 8. Partial gastrectomy for the disease of ulcers
Risk factors for Stomach Cancer
Let’s know about the risk factors that increase the chances of developing cancer. The following are the risk factors.
- 1. Age
- 2. Gender
- 3. Family history or genetics
- 4. Diet
- 5. Ethnicity or race
- 6. Bacteria
- 7. Previous health conditions or surgery
- 8. Obesity
- 9. Alcohol and tobacco
- 10. Occupational exposure
Stomach Cancer Age
It has been studied or seen that stomach cancer generally develops among people older than 55. Most probably, people who have been diagnosed with this condition are between the age group of 60 to 80.
Stomach Cancer Survival Rate
Survival rates can provide you with an idea of the same stage and type of cancer that is alive in your body after when they have been diagnosed. It is essential to know that survival rates are estimated and based on previous results. The relative survival rates have been shown below in three groups such as:
- 1. The number of people found with cancer with no sign that cancer has been developed or spread outside your stomach is about 70%.
- 2. When cancer has been developed or grown over the stomach’s outer layer to near lymph nodes or structures, the survival rate is around 32%.
- 3. If cancer has spread to different parts of your body, like the liver, the survival rate is about 6%.
Stomach Cancer Diagnosis
Your doctor or healthcare provider will review your medical history and ask you about the symptoms. Then they will perform a physical exam and conduct a few tests and exams to diagnose your stomach cancer. The following are the tests that are required for diagnosing stomach cancer.
- 1. Upper endoscopy
- 2. Radiologic tests
- 3. Blood tests
- 4. Endoscopic ultrasound
- 5. Laparoscopy
Stomach Cancer Prevention
You can prevent cancer by following the below steps or tips.
- 1. Limit the amount of alcohol you generally drink.
- 2. Avoid consuming tobacco products.
- 3. Maintain a healthy weight.
- 4. Avoid pickled and smoked foods, fish, and salted meats.
- Eat vegetables, fresh fruits, and plenty of whole grains like cereals, rice, pasta, and whole grain bread.
Meta description – Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, may affect any part of your stomach.
What are the initial symptoms or signs of stomach cancer?
The initial warning signs of stomach cancer are heartburn, stomach pain, bloating after eating, indigestion, nausea, etc.
Is stomach cancer highly curable?
In most cases, cancer can not be cured properly. However, it is still possible to relieve the symptoms through chemotherapy.
What is the feeling of having stomach cancer?
You may have a feeling of fullness in your stomach, especially in the upper abdomen, after having meals, heartburn, vomiting, and nausea.
What can be mistaken for stomach cancer?
When you are having symptoms of cancer, then it does not always mean that you have cancer.
How do doctor diagnose if I have stomach cancer?
Most probably, your doctor will perform an upper endoscopy to diagnose stomach cancer.