Stomach Cancer

What is Stomach Cancer?

Our stomach is one of the most important organs in our body. It is shaped like a muscular bag or pouch. It is stationed just below the ribs and on the upper abdomen. Our stomach is responsible for digestion of the food we eat. It takes the food we eat and holds it. During this time, the food is broken down and digested. Stomach cancer is also called gastric cancer. The cancer develops when cells become aberrant and start dividing and growing at an abnormal rate. This results in a mass of tumor within the lining of the stomach. Early symptoms for stomach cancer are rare and the cancer grows over considerable time period. As such, stomach cancer often goes undiagnosed. The symptoms are often realised only after the cancer has spread to other stomach parts or other body parts. 

The Oncology department of Media excels in delivering world-class treatment for cancer. Our treatment is driven by collective clinical experience of the team spanning more than three decades. We have a multidisciplinary approach towards treating all forms and types of cancer. Our onco-surgeons and oncologists ger support from latest technologies for cancer treatment. We also boast a team comprising highly skilled and experienced reconstructive surgeons. Together, we provide extensive treatment for our patients, children, and adults alike.

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    Types

    Stomach cancer is categorised into several types. These include: 

    Adenocarcinoma: This stomach cancer type is the most widespread. It is found in the stomach’s inner lining. 

    Lymphoma: These are also known as malignancies of the immune system. They can develop anywhere within our lymphatic system. It is an uncommon cancer type and accounts for around 4 percent of all stomach malignancies. 

    Gastrointestinal Tumors: These tumors develop in the hormone-producing cells of the stomach. These are interstitial cancer cells. Under microscope, these cells resemble the nerve cells of our muscles. The cancer can be found anywhere within our digestive tract. Yet around 60-70 cases of gastrointestinal tumors appear in the stomach. 

    Carcinoid Tumors: These tumors are also found within the stomach’s hormone-generating cells. Three types of carcinoid tumors are found. These are Type I, Type II and Type III. Type I and Type III are ECL-cell carcinoids that rarely spread, remaining in one place. Type III are ECL-cell carcinoids that are aggressive and require more thorough therapy.

    Symptoms

    Most of the early-stage stomach cancer have limited or no symptoms. This makes early detection of stomach cancer a challenging task. Some common stomach cancer indications are: 

    • Not feeling hungry 
    • Abdominal pain 
    • Unexplained loss of weight 
    • Heartburn and indigestion 
    • Nausea and vomiting 
    • Swelling and accumulation of fluid in the abdomen 
    • Low count of RBCs and anemia 
    • The Upper abdomen feeling full
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    Causes

    The major causes of stomach cancer are still unclear. Yet, research has identified several risk factors associated with stomach cancer. 

    It is now known that the origin of stomach cancer is the cell DNA within the stomach which undergoes changes. The cell DNA comprise of specific instructions to perform. These specific instructions keep the body healthy with normal functions. Death of healthy cells result in alterations. These result in the aberrant cells growing swiftly and continuing to live. These aberrant cells later become tumor, infiltrating the surrounding healthy tissues. The tumor cells break-off and spread easily to other body parts over time. 

    Additional Risk Factors:

    Several other factors increase the risk towards stomach cancer. These are: 

    • Obesity 
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder 
    • Diet high in smoked and salty foods 
    • Diet lacking vegetables and fruits 
    • Family history of stomach cancer
    • Helicobacter pylori disease 
    • Long-term stomach inflammation or gastritis 
    • Smoking 
    • Stomach Polyps

    Stages

    Stomach cancer can be categorised into the following stages: 

    Stage 0: This is the most primal stage of the cancer. The cancer is found in the Stomach wall’s deepest layer, also known as mucosal lining. 

    Stage I: Stage I is further categorised into two sub-stages based on the cancer’s extent. These are: 

    • Stage IA: In this stage the tumor has metastasized across the mucosal which is the stomach wall’s deepest layer
    • Stage IB: In this stage the tumor has saturated the stomach’s mucosal layer. It has now reached a minimum of six lymph nodes adjacent to the tumor. Stage IB cancer is identified when the tumor reached the stomach wall’s middle layer or the muscularis. 

    Stage II: In this stage the stomach progresses in many ways. 

    • The tumor can spread across the entire mucosal layer of the stomach wall and has reached around 7-15 adjacent lymph nodes 
    • The tumor spreads across the entire middle layer or mucularis of the wall of the stomach. It is found in minimum six lymph nodes adjacent to the tumor & continues to grow. 
    • It can also spread across the serosal layer of the stomach wall but has not yet reached the nearby organs or lymph nodes. 

    Stage III: This stage is further categorised into two sub-stages. 

    • Stage IIIA: This stage is described with the progression of cancer in specific areas. These are: 
    • The middle layer or muscularis of the wall of the stomach and minimum 7-15 lymph nodes adjacent to the cancer. 
    • The stomach wall’s serosal later including 1-6 lymph nodes adjacent to the cancer
    • Organs adjacent to or surrounding the stomach, no lymph nodes. 
    • Stage IIIB: This stage occurs when the cancer progresses to the serosal layer of the stomach wall and can be found in around 7-15 lymph nodes around the tumor. 

    Stage IV: In this stage the cancer spreads as well as minimum 1-2 lymph nodes. It can also reach this stage when it has reached minimum fifteen lymph nodes adjacent to the tumor or other far away body parts.

    Diagnosis

    Th success of diagnosis for the stomach cancer depends on doctor’s understanding of the complete medical history. It is important to be transparent about past records, medical history as well as any family history of the tumor. Several diagnostic tests are available for identifying stomach cancer. 

    Blood Tests: Blood tests are conducted for examining malignancy symptoms within the body. 

    Upper Endoscopy: In this diagnostic test a flexible and thin tube is inserted within the stomach. The tube contains a miniscule camera to click pictures. Endoscopy is used to examine the internal anomalies. 

    Upper GI: In this diagnostic test barium is coated in the stomach. It is a chalky solution which is used before X-ray scan. It helps in improving the image clarity for upper GI examination. 

    Other Tests: This can include CT scan which is an X-ray category. It helps create detailed imagery of the stomach.

    Treatment

    One of the top superspecialty departments in Media is the Oncology department. The department has a team of experienced and highly skilled doctors. Our doctors treat patients with different cancer types with expert knowledge and dedication. Stomach cancer treatment is dependent on several factors. These include age, other medical conditions, tumor history, progression and stage of the cancer and others. Treatment strategies for stomach cancer can include the following: 

    Surgery: Surgery is a common treatment for stomach cancer. It is used for eliminating tumor which has not yet spread. Surgery is done by eliminating a part of the stomach or the esophagus infected with tumor. Surgery also removes the nearby lymph nodes for reducing future risks. 

    Radiation Therapy: Doctor includes radiation therapy before the surgery. It helps in reducing the tumor so that the cancer can be removed easily. Radiation therapy is preferred for cancers in the gastroesophageal part or the body of the stomach. Radiation therapy is also used after surgery. It destroys the cancer cells remaining in the area. 

    Chemotherapy: This therapy is usually given before the surgical process. Chemotherapy helps in reducing tumor. This therapy is also called neoadjuvant therapy. The therapy is used after surgery for destroying any remaining tumor cells. When given after the surgery, it is called adjuvant chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can also be used singularly for reliving symptoms among patients with advanced cancer.

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