Stomach Cancer

Also called: Gastric cancer

The stomach is an organ between the esophagus and the small intestine. It mixes food with stomach acid and helps digest protein. Stomach cancer mostly affects older people - two-thirds of people who have it are over age 65. Your risk of getting it is also higher if you

  • Have had a Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Have had stomach inflammation
  • Are a man
  • Eat lots of salted, smoked, or pickled foods
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Have a family history of stomach cancer

It is hard to diagnose stomach cancer in its early stages. Indigestion and stomach discomfort can be symptoms of early cancer, but other problems can cause the same symptoms. In advanced cases, there may be blood in your stool, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, jaundice, or trouble swallowing. Doctors diagnose stomach cancer with a physical exam, blood and imaging tests, an endoscopy, and a biopsy.

Because it is often found late, it can be hard to treat stomach cancer. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

The following features are indicative of Stomach Cancer:
  • fatigue
  • feeling bloated after eating
  • feeling full after eating small amounts of food
  • severe, persistent heartburn
  • severe indigestion
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • persistent vomiting
  • unintentional weight loss
It is possible that Stomach Cancer shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Stomach Cancer

The following are the most common causes of Stomach Cancer:
  • DNA mutations
  • gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • diet high in smoked and salted foods

Risk Factors for Stomach Cancer

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Stomach Cancer:
  • GERD history
  • diet high in salty and smoked foods
  • diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • eating foods contaminated with a fungus Aflatoxin
  • family history
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • long-term stomach inflammation
  • pernicious anemia
  • smoking
  • stomach polyps

Prevention of Stomach Cancer

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Stomach Cancer. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • exercise regularly
  • eating more fruits and vegetables
  • reducing intake of salty and smoked foods
  • quit smoking
  • periodic endoscopy to look for signs of stomach cancer

Occurrence of Stomach Cancer

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Stomach Cancer cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Stomach Cancer can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Stomach Cancer can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Stomach Cancer:
  • Upper endoscopy: To look for signs of cancer
  • Tissue sample biopsy: To analyse the condition
  • Imaging tests: To look for stomach cancer
  • Exploratory surgery: To determine the extent of stomach cancer

Doctor for Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Stomach Cancer:
  • Oncologist
  • Gastroenterologist

Complications of Stomach Cancer if untreated

Yes, Stomach Cancer causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Stomach Cancer is left untreated:
  • constipation
  • fecal impaction
  • bowel obstruction
  • diarrhea

Procedures for Treatment of Stomach Cancer

The following procedures are used to treat Stomach Cancer:
  • Surgery: To remove the part of the esophagus or stomach where the tumor is located
  • Radiation therapy: To kill the cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy: To kill the cancer cells

Medicines for Stomach Cancer

Below is the list of medicines used for Stomach Cancer:

Self-care for Stomach Cancer

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Stomach Cancer:
  • Regular exercise: Helps reducing the risk of stomach cancer
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables: To reduce risk of gastroesophageal junction cancer and stomach cancer
  • Reduce the amount of salty and smoked foods: Helps protecting the stomach from cancer
  • Stop smoking: Helps reducing the risk of stomach cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Stomach Cancer

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Stomach Cancer:
  • Acupuncture: Helps relieving symptoms
  • Massage therapy: Helps relieving symptoms

Patient Support for Treatment of Stomach Cancer

The following actions may help Stomach Cancer patients:
  • Education: Find more information about stomach cancer and the benefits and risks of each treatment option
  • Connect with other cancer survivors: Helps to cope with condition
  • Stay active: Helps to cope with condition

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Stomach Cancer.

Related Topics

Stomach Disorders

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