Stomach CancerCancer » Stomach Cancer
The stomach is a muscular bag with a capacity of about one liter. It lies along the digestive tract between the esophagus and the small intestine. The stomach serves as a reservoir for food eaten during meals and begins the process of digestion. Its inner walls are composed of glands that secrete acid and digestive enzymes. The most common form of cancer that affects the stomach is adenocarcinoma, which arises in the glands of the inner most layer of the stomach.
Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer and can develop in any part of the stomach. It may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs too. The location of the tumors within the stomach has also changed. It used to be that most of the tumors were located where the stomach joins the small bowel. The stomach cancer cells can multiply by breaking away from the original tumor. They come in through the blood or lymph vessels, which divide into every single tissues of the body. The cancer cells could be found in lymph nodes near the stomach. The cancer cells may possibly attach to other tissues and grow to form new tumors that could harm those tissues.
- Helicobacter pylori infection.
- Previous stomach surgery,
- Pernicious anemia,
- Menetrier disease,
- Type A blood,
Milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin C and frozen food all appear to reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Any kind of food that has been smoked, pickled or salted appears to increase the risk.
Stomach Cancer Symptoms
Stomach cancer is often asymptomatic or causes only nonspecific symptoms in its early stages.
Indigestion or a burning sensation.
Loss of appetite.
Bleeding (vomiting blood or bloody stool) which will appear as black and can lead to fatigue, anemia and weight loss.
How Can Stomach Cancer Be Treated?
People with advanced heart and lung diseases may not tolerate aggressive therapy. In many cases, the stomach cancer may have advanced too far for any available treatment to work.
Surgery: The most effective treatment is surgery and the sooner the disease is discovered, the better the chances of a complete recovery. The surgeon removes part or all of the stomach, as well as the surrounding lymph nodes, with the basic goal of removing cancer and a margin of normal tissue. Depending on the extent of invasion and the location of the tumor, surgery may also include removal of part of the intestine or pancreas. Tumors in the lower part of the stomach may call for a Billroth I or Billroth II procedure. Surgery may relieve symptoms of obstruction.
Chemotherapy: The therapy is sometimes combined with radiotherapy. The use of chemotherapy to treat stomach cancer has not firmly established standard of care. Unfortunately, stomach cancer has not been particularly sensitive to these drugs, and chemotherapy, if used, has usually served to palliatively reduce the size of the tumor, relieve symptoms of the disease and increase survival time.
Radiation therapy: Also called radio therapy, uses high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. When used, it is generally in combination with surgery and chemotherapy, or used only with chemotherapy in cases where the individual is unable to undergo surgery. Radiation therapy may be used to relieve pain or blockage by shrinking the tumor for palliation of incurable disease.
Multimodality therapy: This therapy is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It gives mixed results.
Bloated stomach cancer is difficult to cure through modern techniques as it has become easy to clean the damaged cells or tissues. But cancer is mainly the development of the cells which means the cyclic recurrence of the malignant cells over the period of time.