About the disease
Stomach cancer develops develops because of mucous membranes that manifest themselves in the form of an ulcer or multiple polyps on the wall of the stomach. In some cases, it can result in severe gastritis or cancer. Smoking, alcohol and excessive consumption of flavor enhancers can contribute to the development of cancer, especially in combination with latent mucous membranes.
If you have symptoms of this disease, you need to be diagnosed as soon as possible in order to get qualified treatment. This type of tumor can be very dangerous. According to the American medical site Medical News Today, stomach tumors are the third highest cause of death for cancer patients. Nevertheless, if stomach cancer patients undergo treatment, their chances for recovery become high. Five-year survival rate of such patients reaches approximately 70-90%. Men who have stomach cancer live an average of 13 years and women - 16 years.
It has been scientifically proven that stomach cancer is 20% higher for people who inherit A (II) blood group. Hereditary transmission of the gene called E-cadherin, which is a protein epithelium that normally suppresses tumor cell growth, can cause stomach tumors.
Causes of stomach cancer include:
- Excessive use of regular table salt
- Meat products and food additives containing sodium nitrate E251 that makes meat red
- Food flavor enhancers MSG or E262
- Deficiency of ascorbic acid, which normalizes the level of hydrochloric acid and reduces bleeding
- Hereditary predisposition
- Immune system – low epithelial resistance due to lack of immunoglobulin
- Stomach ulcer
- Polyps on stomach wall
- Gastrectomy and other operations on the stomach
- Dysplasia and metaplasia of the gastric wall
- Constant abdominal discomfort
- Pain does not disappear even after patient takes medication
- Rapid weight loss (15-25 kg in 7 months from a starting weight of 85-95 kg)
- Lack of appetite
- Patients feel aversion towards meat
- Patients feel full after eating a few bites
Other signs of stomach cancer are:
- Progressive loss of body weight
- Nausea and vomiting with blood right after meals
- Pale mucous membranes
- Chronic (Atrophic) gastritis
- Gastric ulcer
- Polyps on the stomach wall
- Gag reflex
Early signs of stomach cancer depend on location of the tumor. Cancer in the front section of the stomach is characterized by pain in the heart and constant dehydration. Median section tumors are manifested by heavy gastric bleeding and development of anemia. Pain in this section can be mistaken for a pancreatic tumor. Cancer in the lowest section of the stomach causes diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and stomach pains.
The diagnosis is determined through physical, instrumental and laboratory diagnostic methods.
- Physical methods. Diagnosis begins with clinical examination of the patient, such as palpation and auscultation. These examinations allow a doctor to detect changes of temperature and estimate the extent of a patient’s pain. Auscultation of the heart can also be performed if patient suffers from chest pain.
- Instrumental methods. Radiology and endoscopy are used to determine the presence of disease with the help of X-ray shadow. An endoscopy obtains a biopsy sample from different parts of the stomach wall for histology and cytology. This helps to identify the nature of the inner stomach walls.
- Ultrasound and laparoscopy are additional methods of diagnosis. This technique is used to determine the presence and operability of tumor metastasis. Laboratory examination of biological fluids is used to clarify the condition of the patient before surgery. In recent years, methods for determining the cancer include tumor markers. According to American Cancer Society, doctors have recently begun to use such innovative diagnostic techniques as Positron Emission tomography, which is an intravenous injection of radioactive substance. This injection can give a detailed picture of a tumor.
Diagnosis and conservative treatment with 1 course of chemotherapy can be combined to provide a timely treatment for patients. This option can be arranged through Booking Health.com.
The choice of stomach cancer treatment is determined by the stage of carcinogenesis. It is usually determined by specialists from several medical domains. Main treatment options include surgical partial resection of the stomach and surgical complete resection of the stomach with further plasty of intestinal tissue.
- Surgical partial resection of the stomach is recommended for those patients who have beginning stages of this disease. The surgeon makes an incision and removes the tumor through it.
- Surgical complete resection of the stomach with further plasty of intestinal tissue removes all affected tissue and is required for patients who have a stomach tumor at a progressed stage.
- Endoscopic resection is a relatively new treatment for stomach cancer and can be performed in most stomach cancer treatment centers.
- Chemotherapy. Surgical intervention is usually not entirely enough for treatment of gastric cancer. In this case, a doctor can prescribe agents that can hinder growth of cancerous cells. Chemotherapy has a generally negative impact on the body. It can be justified only when there really are chances to cure the stomach cancer.
- Palliative chemotherapy. This is a completely different type of medical therapy, which is used when it is not possible to totally remove the cancer from the stomach or the affected lymph nodes.