Gastric Cancer – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Stomach cancer, which is also known to be as gastric cancer, is the gathering of an abnormal group of cells which forms the undesirable amount of mass in any interior part of the stomach. As per the World Health Organization, every year around 723,000 deaths are caused by stomach cancer. Being the 5th most common cancer worldwide, it is the 3rd leading cause of cancerous death. With the majority of the people diagnosed with the stomach cancer, either go to the metastasis stage or they develop it eventually. Metastasis is a stage when the cancerous cells start to spread from a particular area. About 90-95 percent of the stomach cancers are a certain type-referred as adenocarcinoma in the stomach. In this life-threatening version, cancer develops by the cells that form from the mucus, the outermost layer of the stomach that produces the mucus.

Let us have a good look at certain traits of stomach cancer.

  • Symptoms:

Lots of symptoms are seen with the stomach cancer. However, as their existence is possible in much less serious form, the recognition of this type of cancer is difficult in the beginning. It’s due to this reason that so many patients are left without any sort of diagnosis when the disease is already in the advanced stage. The early symptoms of the stomach cancer include,

    A feeling that your stomach is full of any appetite,

    Dysphagia,

    Bloating feel after certain meals,

    Too much burping,

    Heartburn

    Not having proper digestion after every meal,

    Pain in the stomach,

    Trapped wind inside the stomach

    Vomiting frequently

When the above mentioned symptoms are seen at an increased rate, one should immediately consult with the doctor. Other than this, the following signs should also be taken seriously when they are occurring at an increased rate.

    Dysphagia

    Digestion failure with the inclusion of at least these two points, unexpected weight loss, being sick or anaemia

The person who is developing certain indigestion should also consult with the doctor and see if the family medical history matches with the following symptoms or not.

    Any close relative who has previously suffered from the stomach cancer.

    Dysplasia- a typical collection of the precancerous formation of the cells,

    Gastritis- problem/pain/injury in the inner lining of the stomach

    Anemia- the stomach fails to absorb the vitamin B12 from food

    Improper digestion along with the ‘lumpy’ feeling inside the stomach

    Blood found in stool

    Loss of appetite

    Huge amount of weight loss in very short period of time

  • Risk factors regarding stomach cancer

The certain risk factors regarding the stomach cancer include:

    Regular, very frequent smoking habit is extremely injurious as it twice the risk factor of stomach cancer.

    Helicobacter pylori- though the bacteria do not cause harm to most of the people, the bacteria can cause infection and stomach injuries also known as ulcers in certain individuals. They also increase the risk of stomach cancer.

    Consuming too many dry foods, spices, oily foods- especially the foods which contain aflatoxin fungus can initiate the cause of developing cancerous cells inside the stomach.

  • Cause of Gastric cancer

The cause of cancer is still under research but what the researchers have found after several years of investigation is that if the structure of the DNA changes the normal cell growth pattern is disrupted. As a result, the cells start to grow at an enhanced rate and in incomplete metabolic shape. the cells start to generate more ATP, takes up more energy and due to the incomplete process of metabolism inside these cells, unwanted tissue growth is seen. It is still under the research of why the cells mutate- or they become cancerous.

  • Diagnosis of metastatic Gastric cancer

If the above mentioned signs and symptoms are seen very often, then you must visit the doctor. With some certain requirements of information about the family background, previous family related symptoms, some possible lifestyle characteristics and carrying out certain physical examinations, the physician can give an idea if there is any development of cancerous stage inside one’s stomach. Briefing of certain examinations are given here under:

 

    Gastroscopic exam:

In this exam, the examiner looks inside the patient’s stomach using a fibre optic cable attached to a small camera at one end. A very small amount of tissue can be taken as a sample to test whether any cancerous cell has developed or not.

    Ultrasound scan

stomach cancer test

To detect cancer on the upper part of the stomach, the specialist can carry out ultrasound scan.

    Barium meal X-ray

Gastric cancer diagnosis

In this test, the patient is given a certain amount of barium to swallow with the meal. Then during the X-ray scan, it helps in the identification of stomach cancer.

    Laparoscopy

The process where the patient is given a general anaesthetic and a small camera mounted on the front of cable and inserted through a small incision in the bottom part of the stomach is called laparoscopy. In this way, the doctors can see inside the abdomen to see detailed structure of any development of the cancerous cells.

    CT scan

With the help of radiographic projection, a series of photos are taken inside the body. Then, the images help the doctor in determining the situation of cancer developed inside the stomach. This test also helps the doctor in determining the appropriate treatment needed.

    Ultrasound scan

If cancer has spread to the liver, the doctor may recommend doing this test.

  • Stomach cancer treatment

With the dependence on the severity and the type of cancer, various treatments are given to the patient. The treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medications etc. Some of them are listed below,

    Surgery

In surgical treatment, the surgeon removes the cancerous part from the body along with a healthy part of the tissue. There are several surgical traits that can be taken such as,

Subtotal gastrectomy- a part of the stomach is removed surgically in this procedure.

Total gastrectomy- this is a very complicated surgery, where the entire stomach is removed surgically.

 

    Radiation therapy

In case of radiation therapy, certain radiation energy rays are used to target and destroy the cancerous cells. But this treatment is not recommended by the doctors to diagnose stomach cancer as it affects the other healthy organs of the nearby area.

 

    Chemotherapy

It is a special treatment type, where drugs are used to inhibit the growth of the rapidly increasing cancerous cells. These medicines are also known as cytotoxic medicines.

 

Cancer itself is a relatively new term in the medical history, and not too many drugs have been discovered to inhibit the growth of the cancerous cells inside one’s body. But certain steps like eating fruit and vegetables, eating less smoked and salty food, quit smoking etc.  can help to reduce the risk of developing this deadly disease.

 

 

 

 

 

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