Stomach cancer warning signs and treatment explains who gets stomach cancer and the steps you can take to relieve and improve the symptoms.
What Is Stomach Cancer?
Stomach cancer (also known as gastric cancer) is when healthy cells in your stomach alter and grow out of control. It can begin in any area of your stomach and then spread to other areas of your body, including your liver, lungs, and bones. It is a condition that worsens over the years if not properly diagnosed and treated.
Presently stomach cancer remains one of the most common and deadly cancer globally, particularly among older males. Similarly, it’s the 3rd most deadly cancer.
The most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma which is 95% of all stomach cancer cases. It begins from the tissues of your stomach lining, in the cells that make mucus and other fluids.
Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori)
H.pylori is a bacterium that infects the inner lining of your stomach. It causes ulcers and inflammation in your stomach and is one of the main causes of stomach cancer. And the way to know if you have it is to do a test. If you are infected, it can be treated with antibiotics such as amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and metronidazole. Therefore if any one of your family diagnosed with stomach cancer, get them tested.
Who Is At Risk Of Stomach Cancer?
If you are over 65 years, you are at risk. Research findings put at 60% of people diagnosed with stomach cancer are in this age group. Additionally, men are more likely at risk of stomach cancer than women.
Major Causes Of Stomach Cancer
Your lifestyle in terms of the things you do every day can affect your chances of getting gastric cancer. For instance, if you eat a lot of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, and pickled vegetables, your risk is higher. Similarly putting you at risk is if you do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, you are more likely to get it if you smoke, drink too much alcohol, or are grossly overweight.
Risk Of Getting Stomach Cancer
You have a higher risk of getting stomach cancer if someone in your family has had it. Or you have had stomach surgery. Equally some medical conditions can increase your risk. For instance, if you are low on red cells because you need more B12. Or perhaps you don’t have enough of certain acids in your digestive fluid.
Stomach Cancer Symptoms
You may not notice any symptoms. Worse still at times you don’t discover stomach cancer until it has spread to other parts of the body. This is why it is a silent killer. So these are the signs to look out for:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Feeling bloated or full after you eat even a little
- Painful heartburn and indigestion
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss for no reason
- Not being hungry
- Bloody or black stools
Your doctor will ask about any symptoms you have and do a physical examination. They will ask about your medical history and lifestyle. If your doctor thinks you might have stomach cancer, a doctor who specialises in digestive issues is likely to be recommended to confirm through tests.
Your doctor probably will start with an endoscopy. This is done by sending a tiny camera through a tube down your throat to look into your stomach. If anything looks out of place, a biopsy will be done. The tissue sample taken is sent to a lab to look for cancer cells under a microscope.
5 Biopsy Processes You Should Know
Your doctor might suggest other ways to get a closer look at any tumor. This could be a CT scan or an MRI scan.
Surgery to take out the tumour is the first step and depends on where your cancer is, how far advanced, and your overall health. In addition, your doctor might also remove part or the whole of your stomach. Or take lymph nodes from other parts of your body to look for signs of cancer.
Radiation and Chemotherapy
You also may have radiation therapy or chemotherapy to shrink the tumour before surgery. And possibly later as well in order to kill any leftover cancer cells. These two kinds of therapy are often used together.
Targeted therapy is another treatment your doctor may suggest. This is when special drugs are used to target cancer cells without harming healthy cells around them.
Immunotherapy is another treatment that helps your body to use its natural defenses to fight cancer.
Clinical Trials are other ways to participate in stomach cancer research trials that might be good for you. These studies examine new drugs and procedures and provide the opportunity to benefit from trying these latest treatments.
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