Stomach cancer is a severe ailment that can cause a variety of symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, and shortness of breath. In addition, advanced patients may vomit blood and dark, sticky feces. Some patients may also develop bowel obstruction, fractures, and neurologic changes. Patients may also experience swelling in the abdomen caused by fluid.
Signs and symptoms
Early-stage stomach cancer often has no symptoms, but when it spreads to nearby organs, it will cause pain and discomfort. Other symptoms include anemia, nausea, vomiting, and dark, sticky feces. As cancer progresses, symptoms may include bowel obstruction, shortness of breath, and neurologic changes.
Stomach cancer is caused by a genetic mutation in the stomach cells’ DNA. DNA contains the instructions for the growth and death of cells, and this change causes the cells to grow too quickly and overtake healthy cells. The cells can then spread to other parts of the body. Those with Type A blood are at greater risk for developing this cancer.
The disease typically affects the gastroesophageal junction, where the esophagus and the stomach meet. Treatment for this type of cancer varies depending on its location and type. Surgery is often performed to remove cancer. However, other treatments are sometimes recommended before and after surgery. If you suspect stomach cancer, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. He will likely try to rule out other causes of your symptoms, like a stomach virus or ulcer.
The correct diagnosis of stomach cancer is essential for treating the disease. Treatment options vary depending on the type and stage of cancer and may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy, or both. To determine the best treatment options, talk with your healthcare team and weigh potential side effects and risks.
The symptoms of stomach cancer vary from person to person and vary with the stage and location of the tumor. Patients may experience bloating after eating, indigestion, or pain. Some patients also experience bleeding or pain when swallowing. Other symptoms include fatigue and unintended weight loss. The condition often takes many years to develop, but early diagnosis is key to ensuring a cure.
Tests are often used to determine a diagnosis. Some tests will also help your healthcare provider determine the stage of the disease. Stages indicate how far cancer has spread and are used to plan treatment.
Treatments for stomach cancer often involve chemotherapy or surgery, but some patients may also benefit from radiation therapy. Radiation and chemotherapy can shrink the stomach tumor and kill cancer cells. Surgery can be a good option for stomach cancer that has spread to nearby organs or the brain. Chemotherapy may be given before or after surgery.
A multidisciplinary team of physicians specializing in stomach cancer will work with you to find the best treatment option. This team will include medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists. It will also include physicians specializing in nutrition, hepatology, and gastroenterology. Physician-scientists work with the team to develop new treatments and research to improve patient outcomes.
Treatments for stomach cancer are highly personalized and will depend on the cancer stage, where it is located, and your overall health. Before undergoing treatment, you can take steps to prepare for it. This process is known as prehabilitation. Depending on the stage of the disease and the type of cancer, stomach cancer treatments may include chemotherapy, surgery, or targeted cancer drugs.