What is stomach cancer?

This is a condition that occurs when normal cells in the stomach transform into abnormal cells and grow out of control. Certain people with this type of cancer also suffer from H. pylori infection. This is a type of bacteria that attacks the stomach and intestines. This often leads to symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, or vomiting.

Stomach cancer often leads to signs including:


  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain (especially in the upper abdomen area)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue and being short of breath (also anaemia)


Most of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so make sure you consult your doctor if you’re experiencing these.

How can stomach cancer be diagnosed?

Tests for this condition mostly include an upper endoscopy. Here, your doctor will insert a thin tube with a camera through your mouth and examine your stomach.

How is stomach cancer treated? 

​If you are diagnosed with stomach cancer, the treatment options recommended will depend on the location, stage, and extent of your cancer. Your doctor will also consider your overall health and your preferences when creating a treatment plan for you.


Surgery


The first line of treatment includes surgery. The goal of surgery is to remove all cancerous cells along with a few healthy cells surrounding them. There are various types of surgery that may be recommended for you based on your circumstances. These include:


  • Removing the tumour in your stomach lining
  • Removing part of your stomach (subtotal gastrectomy)
  • Removing your entire stomach (total gastrectomy)
  • Removing lymph nodes in your abdomen to test for cancer


Chemotherapy


This is a type of treatment in which chemicals are used to kill the cancer cells in your stomach. These drugs are used before surgery to shrink cancer and after surgery, to kill remaining cancer cells.


Radiation therapy


Radiation is used to kill the cancer cells in your stomach. This can be used both before and after surgery.

What are the symptoms of cancer in the stomach linings?  

What happens when cancer spreads to the stomach linings? 

Is stomach cancer treatable? 

What are some early signs of stomach cancer? 

Does stomach cancer spread fast? 

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