Stomach Cancer : Introduction
Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer which develops along the inner lining of the stomach. Stomach cancer falls under the oncology department and it is the fifth largest common cancer in the world. In terms of death stomach cancer causes third most deaths in the entire world. Stomach cancer are also of varied types but one of the most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma.
Stomach Cancer : Symptoms
Some of the major symptoms of stomach cancer are listed below :
- A sensation of feeling full every time
- Swallowing difficulties also known as dysphagia
- Feeling bloated
- Frequent burps
- Frequent Indigestion
- Pain in breastbone
- Trapped wind
- Vomiting with fewer or higher traces of blood
Above given symptoms are the early symptoms. Have a look at some of the late symptoms of stomach cancer which requires urgent attention :
- Unexpected rapid weight loss
- Black stool containing blood
- Stomach can feel lumpy
Also people who are over 55 and experience regular indigestion issues without any such obvious reasons must see a doctor.
Also, individuals who experience frequent indigestion and have following risk factors to their health history can also be suffering from stomach cancer :
- Family history of stomach cancer
- Barret’s esophagus
- Abnormal and sudden collection of precancerous cells
- Regular gastritis
- Special type of anaemia where the stomach in unable to absorb B12 vitamin
- History of stomach ulcers
Stomach Cancer : Stages
There are various stages of stomach cancer. Have a look at the stages given below which might help us to understand stomach cancer much better :
- Stage 0 : Cancerous cells are still residing in mucosa and have not spread to any other layers of the stomach
- Stage IA : Cancerous cells have spread to other layers of stomach but are still far from the lymph nodes of the stomach
- Stage IB : cancerous cells have spread to other layers of the stomach and some of them may be very few like one or two have moved near the lymph nodes of the stomach
- Stage IIA : Cancer has now spread into the deeper layers and multiple cancerous cells might have emerged near the lymph nodes.
- Stage IIB : Now, more and more cancerous cells are proceeding towards the lymph nodes.
- Stage IIIA : This is the time when cancerous cells are spreading towards other organs of your body.
- Stage IIIB : Now, the cancerous cells have fully spread to the lymph nodes and the attack is gradually moving towards other organs.
- Stage IIIC : Cancer has now spread to 16 lymph nodes and have occupied maximum organs and areas nearby.
- Stage IV : Cancer has spread to distant areas of your body now
Stomach Cancer : Diagnosis
There are several ways to diagnose a stomach cancer. Some of which are enlisted below :
- Gastroscopic Exam : This is also termed as biopsy and here the doctor looks inside the patient’s stomach area with a fibre optic if he suspects of stomach cancer.
- Ultrasound Scan – Ultrasound scan is highly effective when the cancer is located in the uppermost part of the stomach
- Barium Meal X Ray – In this scan the patient has to swallow a liquid which is called barium. And then X ray is done to find out if he is suffering from stomach cancer.
- Laparoscopy – Here the doctor wants to have a detailed look at the patient’s stomach and thus he puts the patient under anaesthesia and then a thin tube with camera at the end is inserted at the lower end of the stomach.
- CT Scan – Here a series of radiographic pictures are taken inside your body.