About Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer (gastric cancer) is the buildup of abnormal cells that start in the lining of the stomach. There are two main types of stomach cancers:
- Intestinal stomach cancer: Common amongst older patients and patients from high-risk groups (eg: the Japanese and Koreans)
- Diffuse stomach cancer: It is found more frequently in women than men and people with blood group A
- Age: More common in older people (above 55)
- Diet: Eating a diet high in preserved foods has been linked with higher rates of stomach cancer.
- Tobacco and alcohol: People who smoke have approximately twice the risk of getting stomach cancer in comparison with non smokers. The risk decreases if you stop smoking. Smokers who have HP (Helicobacter Pylori) infection, may have more than 10 times the risk of non smokers without the infection.
- Infections: Stomach infections by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, which is a major cause of stomach ulcers, is also associated with a much higher risk of stomach cancer.
- Other diseases: People with pernicious anaemia or achlorhydria are more likely to get stomach cancer.
The signs and symptoms of Stomach Cancer include:
- Indigestion: The foremost symptom of stomach cancer is acidity and burping. This can be due to other health issues. However prolonged conditions like this can lead to stomach cancer.
- Weight loss due to feeling full all the time.
- Bleeding: Vomiting blood, this may lead to anaemia. In extreme cases there is blood found in the stool
- Blood clots: Clot formation in other parts of the body like the legs or the lungs which results in pain and breathlessness
- People in the advanced stages may develop fluid in the abdomen
- Lack of appetite, nausea, severe stomach pain, indigestion, heartburn are some other common symptoms encountered
Since many of these symptoms are also caused by food poisoning, stomach ulcers and several other conditions, it is difficult to detect stomach cancer in the early stage.
After the physical examination of the abdomen, the following tests are done to detect cancer:
- Blood test: A complete blood count is done to look for anaemia caused by the bleeding in the stomach.
- Endoscopy: This test allows doctors to see the food pipe, stomach, and the first part of the small bowel. Tissue samples of abnormal areas are taken and tested in the laboratory.
- Imaging tests: Tests like X-rays, Ultrasound, CT Scan, MRI etc. are done to find out suspicious areas in the stomach, the spread of the cancer and to help determine if the treatment is effective or not.
- Laparoscopy: This procedure confirms if the cancer is in the stomach or spread to the other parts of the body through the lymph nodes. It is sometimes pooled in with the Ultrasound procedure to get an improved picture of the cancer.
The exact cause of stomach cancer is still unknown. However, by following these healthy habits you can reduce the cancer risk. This can be done by:
- Diet, nutrition and body weight: Include more fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A, C and E in your diet with regular exercise which will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce cancer risk.
- Reduce the amount of refrigerated foods that contain preservative techniques like smoking, pickling etc.
- Avoid Tobacco: Smoking not only increases the risk of stomach cancer but several other cancers like mouth cancer, lung cancer etc.
- Hereditary reasons: A small percentage of stomach cancers are caused by hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome. It’s important to recognize this syndrome as it may lead to stomach cancer.
- Infection: Treatment of H. Pylori infection- a bacterial infection of the stomach can reduce cancer risk. Though research is still being done in this field but it is always advisable to take precautions.
linkStomach Cancer Treatment:
Stomach cancer treatment depends to a large degree on where the cancer has started in the stomach and how far it has spread. The stomach cancer stages and treatment are a significant part of the cancer care regimen. Cancer Healer Center, a leading stomach cancer clinic in India, offers Cancer Healer Therapy. It is based on the principle of Immunotherapy, which is one of the most promising approaches for the treatment of stomach cancer which shows marked improvement even in the last stages.
Immunotherapy is designed to boost the body's natural defences to fight the disease. It uses materials which are either made by the body or in the laboratory to improve and restore the overall immune system function.
Cancer Healer therapy can be given in conjunction with other traditional therapies like Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy overcoming their side effects. There are different types of treatment available which are planned depending on how far the cancer has grown and spread.