Stomach cancer: All you need to know

Around 3,000 people die of stomach cancer, each year worldwide
Around 3,000 people die of stomach cancer, each year worldwide

New Delhi : Stomach cancer is a growth of abnormal cells to form a mass in specific part of the stomach. The fatal illness is also known as gastric cancer. World Health Organization (WHO) says that almost 3,000 people die of stomach cancer, each year worldwide. It is the fifth most common form of cancer and the third primary cause of cancer-related deaths.

Generally, the kind of cancer is merely known at its early stage. The majority of people diagnosed with stomach cancer already have metastasis, an advanced stage. It is that stage when the cancer cells already spreads from the area in which it first originated. In this type, the cancer develops from the cells that form the mucosa, the most superficial lining of the stomach that produces mucus. Most cases are referred to as adenocarcinoma of the stomach.

Symptoms of stomach cancer

  • Feeling of being very full during meals
  • Swallowing difficulties, known as dysphagia
  • Feeling bloated after meals
  • Frequent burping
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion that does not go away
  • Stomach ache, or pain in the breastbone
  • Vomiting, which may contain blood
  • Weight loss, fatigue and breathlessness

When a person with the aforesaid symptoms sees a Gastroenterologist, then he/she may be asked if a close relative who has/had stomach cancer, if the person has history of stomach ulcers, gastritis and a few more questions

When the stomach cancer reaches an advanced stage, the following signs and symptoms typically become more apparent:

  • Buildup of fluid in the stomach, which may cause the stomach to feel "lumpy"
  • Anemia
  • Black stools that contain blood
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Reason for stomach cancer

Cancer starts when the structure of DNA changes. When this happens, it can disrupt the instructions that control cell growth. Cells that should die may not do so, and cells reproduces too rapidly or in an uncontrollable way.

Treatment of stomach cancer

Medical oncologist plans the treatment of stomach cancer patients which includes surgery to remove tumor and some surrounding tissues. Also radiation therapy may be suggested to destroy cancer cells. Also, in any cancer form, chemotherapy is given to end the ending the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide