Although stomach cancer can be difficult to diagnose and treat, acquiring the knowledge you need to manage the disease is essential.
What causes stomach cancer?
Your stomach (including your esophagus) is only a part of the upper part of your digestive tract. Your stomach is responsible for digesting food and then transporting food to the rest of your digestive system, such as the small and large intestines.
Stomach cancer occurs when normally healthy cells in the upper digestive tract become cancerous and grow out of control, forming a tumor. This process is usually slow and develops over many years.
What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing cancer cells in your stomach. Some of these risk factors include diseases and conditions such as:
-H. Pylori bacterial infection (a common stomach infection that can sometimes lead to ulcers),
– Tumors in other parts of the digestive system,
– Abdominal polyps (abnormal tissue growth in the lining of the stomach),
Inherited genetic syndromes such as Lynch syndrome and Li-Fromeni syndrome.
Stomach cancer is more common in people who:
-Adult adults, usually people 60 years of age or older
– Those who smoke,
– Those who are overweight or obese
People with a family history of the disease.
Although your personal medical history may affect your risk of developing stomach cancer, certain lifestyle factors can also play an important role. You may be more likely to get stomach cancer if:
– Eat very salty or processed foods
– Eat meat often
Rarely do not eat fruit
– Drinking lots of alcohol (at least three drinks a day),
– Not getting enough exercise
– Failure to store or cook food properly.
If you think you are at risk for stomach cancer, you may want to consider a screening test. Screening tests are done when people are at risk for certain diseases but still do not show symptoms.
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
In general, there are no early signs or symptoms of stomach cancer. This means that people often do not realize it until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.
In some cases, there may be symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of stomach cancer include:
– Frequent heartburn
– Endless swelling
– Indigestion and frequent rashes
– Early fullness (feeling full after eating only a small amount),
– Endless abdominal pain.
Many of these symptoms can make it difficult to diagnose stomach cancer, as they are more common than other conditions, such as ulcers or infections. It is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms of potential stomach cancer that are not getting better.
When cancer spreads, the resulting process is called metastasis. Symptoms of advanced or metastatic stomach cancer may include:
– Bloody stools
– Nausea and vomiting,
– A lump in the upper abdomen,
-Jandis (if the cancer reaches the liver)
Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant tiredness.
The symptoms of stomach cancer are more common in women than in men, but are more common in men. Symptoms in children may include constipation or diarrhea, but other than that they are the same as in adults.
How is it diagnosed?
Since people with stomach cancer rarely show symptoms at an early stage, they are often not diagnosed until the disease has progressed.
Diagnosis of stomach cancer involves performing a physical examination to check for any abnormalities. Also, blood and stool tests may be ordered to test for stool or anemia.
If there are symptoms, further diagnostic tests may be needed for stomach cancer. Diagnostic tests screen for particularly suspicious tumors and other abnormalities in the stomach and esophagus. These tests may include: upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, biopsy, imaging tests such as CT scan and X-ray.
How is it treated?
Stomach cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy treatment techniques that stimulate or improve the ability of your immune system to respond to cancer. Your proper treatment plan will depend on the source and level of the cancer. Age and general health can also play an important role in treatment.
The goal of treatment is to treat cancer cells in the stomach, as well as to prevent the cells from spreading. Stomach cancer can spread to the lungs, lymph nodes, bones and liver if left untreated.
Prevention of stomach cancer
Stomach cancer cannot be prevented by itself. However, you can reduce your risk of cancer by eating a balanced diet, maintaining your ideal weight, avoiding smoking, and exercising regularly.