Stomach Cancer

Only about 2% of the cancer cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. are attributed to stomach cancer, but the mortality rate remains high. Unfortunately, many of the signs and symptoms can easily be confused with other minor gastrointestinal upsets. This makes diagnosis of cancer much more likely in the later stages when treatment is difficult. Regular screening by your doctor may help catch a problem early on, and awareness of any current gastrointestinal issues is important. Prompt evaluation is needed if symptoms occur.

Symptoms and Causes of Stomach Cancer

Early signs of this type of cancer are often missed. They can include common problems such as diarrhea, heartburn, loss of appetite, weight loss, and bloating after eating. As the cancer progresses, the symptoms are more pronounced, and can include frequent abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum, continued weight loss, vomiting, and severe weakness.

Fortunately, many cases of stomach cancer can be prevented by eating a healthy diet. Though some incidences are a result of genetic inheritances, studies show that cancer deaths are much higher in countries that frequently eat high salt and cure-foods diets. Limiting pickled, salted, and smoked foods will lower your risk. Men who smoke and those who have had stomach inflammation or an H. Pylori infection are at a higher risk as well.

Stomach Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

A Gastroscopic exam and an Upper GI series are often used to detect the presence of abnormal findings when symptoms are present. A biopsy is most often performed on the suspected stomach tissue, and a positive cancer diagnosis is made only after a pathologist has examined the cells under a microscope. If cancer is present, additional testing may be done to determine how advanced the cancer is, or in what stage the patient is in.

Treatment for stomach cancer is difficult, as it is usually diagnosed at a later stage when it has spread to other parts of the body. Treatment options depend on the location and severity of the cancer, and usually include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In severe genetic cases, some doctors may even remove a patient’s stomach before they have a chance to develop cancer.

Latest Article: American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society was formed in 1913 by a team of 15 doctors and has grown, evolved, and helped countless people that have been diagnosed with cancer to the society we know today.  The American Cancer Society is the place that you should go to for any and all information on cancer.  They have a call center – the National Cancer Information Center - that is...

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