Stomach Cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancers that plague many people all over the world. It’s also referred to as Gastric Cancer. It’s the kind of cancer that can develop in any section of the human stomach. If left undiscovered and untreated, the cancer can as well spread to other parts of the belly and other vital organs such as lungs, esophagus, liver, lymph nodes and so on.
The deadly nature of Stomach Cancer is well known all over the world. It has been reported to be the leading cause of thousands of deaths in various nations of the world. Every single year; over 700,000 men and women die of the disease in various nations.
Stomach Cancer can be cause by a number of factors. When you get infected by the helicobacter pylori, the cancer may develop. Intestinal metaplasia and autoimmune atrophic gastritis can also lead to the disease. There are also several genetic factors that can lead to the disease. This is usually the case whereby the cancer is repeatedly running in a family gene.
A lot of people are also of the view that some diets may lead to Stomach Cancer. There have been various debates concerning this. Some medical scientists maintain that diets have nothing to do with the cancer while some others also maintain that certain kinds of food items can lead to the disease when taken often. Among the basic food items that can lead to Stomach Cancer include, salted meat, salted fish, smoked foods, pickled vegetables and so on. Meats that contain nitrates can also lead to the disease.
Meanwhile, some fresh vegetables and fruits that contain antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin A and C have the propensity of reducing stomach cancer to the barest minimum. However, when you go ahead to take lots of fast foods, canned juices and other preserved food items, you may be opening a wide door for the cancer to showcase in your belly.
Again, tobacco smoking is also another factor that leads to Stomach Cancer. It’s also the leading cause of cancer of the lungs in the lives of most smokers. When you smoke, the risk of the cancer is greatly increased on daily basis. About 80% of smokers all over the world do develop stomach and lung cancer at some points in their lives. In most cases, the cancer of the stomach resulting from tobacco smoking usually showcase in the upper part of the stomach near the esophagus.
Alcoholism is also another factor that can lead to Stomach Cancer. Many alcohol addicts have always ended up having the disease together with other complications.
Stomach Cancer comes with lots of symptoms especially when it has matured to some levels. At the initial stages, you may not notice all the symptoms. You may be having minor signs at such points. However, when the cancer begins to multiply, lots of symptoms are bound to showcase. The symptoms usually showcase in various stages of the cancer there in the stomach.
At stage 1 which is the initial stage of the Stomach Cancer, the individual may experience loss of appetite for meat and other poultry products. He or she may also experience abdominal pain, irritations and distress. The person may also have nausea and minor fever from time to time.
At stage 2, which is the middle or developing stage of the case, the individual will be experiencing fatigue, general body weakness, bloating of the stomach especially after each meal. He or she may also be distressed and confused at this stage. The individual may find it difficult to rest or sleep because of the stomach discomfort.
At stage 3 which is the final and developed stage of the Stomach Cancer, the individual will begin to have severe abdominal pain especially in the upper region of the abdomen. He or she will also begin to experience diarrhea, nausea, occasional vomiting of blood, weight loss, blood in the stool, black stool, anemia, total body weakness, severe headache, restlessness, insomnia and so on. At this stage 3, the cancer will begin to multiply and affect every part of the stomach. If left untreated, it will also spread to the lungs, lymph nodes, esophagus, liver and other internal body organs.
Stomach Cancer is curable especially when it’s discovered on time. Proper diagnosis is usually carried out to ascertain the reality of the cancer as well as its stage per time. In most cases, the diagnosis is carried out when the symptoms begin to show profusely. The doctor may decide to use any method in diagnosing the disease. A detailed examination of the medical history of the patients is very vital during the diagnosis. Physical examination through scan and laboratory studies may also be carried out.
Basically, the doctor may conduct gastroscopic examination in order to discover the actual stage of the cancer. This kind of examination involves the insertions of a fiber optic camera device into the stomach of the patient for proper examination.
Computer tomography also known as CT scanning may also be conducted during the diagnosis. This helps a lot in knowing exactly the actual stage of the cancer. A pathologist may also carry out a microscopic check on the stomach of the patient in order to discover the cancerous cells. In most cases, a biopsy with detailed histological analysis is usually carried out in order to decode the actual presence of the cancer cells.
Again, several vital tests may be carried out during the diagnosis in order to discover the actual presence of the cancer in the stomach. For instance, Complete Blood Count test may be carried out to check for anemia. Stool test may also be carried out to determine the level of blood that is entering into the stool.
When the presence of Stomach Cancer has been ascertained through diagnosis, the next step to take towards dealing with it is known as “Staging”. This is done to discover the actual level of the disease per time. Various tests or approaches can be used for staging. The doctor may engage CT scan, endoscopic ultrasound, PET scan and other methods in doing the staging. Blood test may also be carried out in the process.
When it comes to the actual treatment session, several treatment options may be engaged. Let’s take a look at them.
This is usually carried out to complete the staging session. The surgeon uses this method to remove any nearby lymph node and other tissues that have been affected by the cancer.
At the stage 0 of the cancer, endoscopic mucosal resection can be used to arrest the situation. At Stage 1, surgery is likely to be engaged to remove some of the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy may also be used at Stage1. At Stages 2 and 3 radiations therapy may also be used
Basically, surgery remains the most common method of dealing with Stomach Cancer. The doctor usually removes the part of the stomach that has been affected by the cancer. The surgery may also include the removal of some parts of the pancreas and intestine that have been affected.
This is the use of certain chemical compounds or drugs in dealing with cancer. Some of the basic drugs used in dealing with Stomach Cancer include Fluorouracil, Carmustine, Adriamycin and some others. Oftentimes, chemotherapy may be used before surgery at the stage 1 of the disease. It helps a lot in shrinking the malignant tumors and also prepares the ground for surgery.
This is also known as radiotherapy. It’s the use of high energy rays in damaging cancer cells and hence prevents them from multiplying. In most cases, this method of treatment is used in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgery especially at stages 2 and 3 of the disease. It may also be used only with chemotherapy especially in situations where the patient is unable to go into surgery. The therapy can be used to alleviate pains as it helps in shrinking the tumor.
Apart from the above treatment options, there are some other methods that can be engaged. Among them include, multimodality therapy and some other conventional treatment options. In most cases the doctor decides on the right approach to take when it comes to treating Stomach Cancer.
Prevention is indeed better than cure. It’s better for you to learn how best to prevent the occurrence of Stomach Cancer than to go through the excruciating pains of surgery and other methods used in treating it. If you must avoid the cancer of the stomach, you have to watch your daily eating habit. 80% of the causes of the cancer are from what people eat. You have to avoid smoked foods, salted meat and fishes at all costs. You also need to avoid smoking and alcoholism at all cost. In most cases, smoking leads to cancer of the lungs as well as the stomach cancer.
In the final analysis, there’s every need for you to be going for regular checkup at the hands of a reliable medical doctor. This can help a lot in discovering Stomach Cancer when it begins to show at its initial stages.
[Image Taken From MayoClinic]