Stomach Cancer

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Cancers arising in the stomach are known as stomach cancers. These kind of cancers are origination most commonly in the lining of the stomach. They are slow growing in nature and may or may not produce any kind of symptoms. These are also called as gastric cancers. The risk of inhibiting stomach cancer is relatively increased with infection of a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. This bacterium also causes stomach ulcers.

When there is a development of the symptoms of gastric or stomach cancer, there might be a possible bleeding in the stomach or possible problems with digestion or swallowing or even appetite at times. There might be a feeling of pain or fullness.

Stomach Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancers in their early stages have no present or visible symptoms. As the tumor starts to become larger, there might be a hindrance associated with swallowing or digestion. Because of the fact that it takes up a considerable amount of space in the stomach, there might be occurrence of a feeling of fullness shortly after a person starts to eat.

A few common symptoms of stomach cancer are:

  • Sense of abdominal fullness in general
  • A visible change in the habits of the bowel
  • Presence of blood in stools is another symptom. The blood might have a reddish or blackish or tarry texture
  • Visible swallowing difficulties
  • Felling of fatigue
  • Early feeling of satiety (felling of fullness)
  • Frequent burping
  • Feeling of indigestion
  • A loss in one’s appetite
  • Nausea accompanied with vomiting although vomiting might not be present
  • Pain in the upper abdomen which is further worsened by eating
  • An unexplained loss of weight accompanied by a feeling of weakness

Life threatening symptoms

  • Presence of bloody stools, especially if color of the blood is bright red
  • There is a visible bluish coloration of the lips or fingernails
  • There is a visible change in alertness level or consciousness level. Passing out or staying unresponsive is another symptom
  • There is a visible change in the mental state of the patient. A sudden change in behaviors like confusion, feeling of lethargy, hallucination and delusions
  • Presence of tachycardia
  • Problems associated with respiration or breathing like shortening of breath or difficulty in breathing accompanied by choking
  • There is a severe pain in the abdomen
  • Severe nausea which is accompanied by vomiting
  • Vomiting accompanied by blood

Risk factors of Stomach Cancer

  • Reduced production of stomach acid (achlorhydria)
  • Ager of 50 and above
  • Presence of atrophic gastritis
  • Presence of Barrett esophagus
  • A few family inherited conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Chronic inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis)
  • A high or a heavy regular diet of salty or spicy or smoked food
  • Family history
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Smoking

Treatment of Stomach Cancer

Some common treatments are:

  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy to attack the affected cells
  • Surgical removal of stomach cancer
  • Prescribing antinauseatic medications if there is presence of nausea
  • Blood transfusions to replace the components of the blood temporarily
  • Diet and proper diet counseling to maintain nutrition
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the body
  • Vitamin therapy, acupuncture, yoga and nutritional therapies might also be given as a part of complimentary treatment