Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is a malignant tumor arising from the lining of the stomach. Stomach cancer is cancer that occurs in the stomach,the muscular sac located in the upper middle of your abdomen, just below your ribs. Your stomach receives and holds the food you eat and then helps to break down and digest it.
Stomach cancers are classified according to the type of tissue where they originate. The most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma, which starts in the glandular tissue of the stomach cancers. Other forms of stomach cancer include lymphomas, which involve the lymphatic system and sarcomas, which involve the connective tissue (such as muscle, fat, or blood vessels).Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include:-
• Feeling bloated after eating
• Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
• Heartburn that is severe and persistent
• Indigestion that is severe and unrelenting
• Nausea that is persistent and unexplained
• Stomach pain
• Vomiting that is persistent
A stomach cancer can grow very large before it causes other symptoms.
In more advanced cancer, you may have:
• Discomfort in the upper or middle part of the abdomen.
• Blood in the stool (which appears as black, tarry stools).
• Vomiting or vomiting blood.
• Weight loss.
• Pain or bloating in the stomach after eating.
• Weakness or fatigue associated with mild anemia (a deficiency in red blood cells).
Types of stomach cancer
When the term stomach cancer or gastric canceris used, it almost always refers to an adenocarcinoma. These cancers develop from the cells that form the innermost lining of the stomach (known as the mucosa).
These are cancers of the immune system tissue that are sometimes found in the wall of the stomach. About 4% of stomach cancers are lymphomas. The treatment and outlook depend on the type of lymphoma. For more detailed information, see our document Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
These are rare tumors that start in very early forms of cells in the wall of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal. Some of these tumors are non-cancerous (benign); others are cancerous. Although GISTs can be found anywhere in the digestive tract, most are found in the stomach. For more information, see our document Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST).
These are tumors that start in hormone-making cells of the stomach. Most of these tumors do not spread to other organs. About 3% of stomach cancers are carcinoid tumors. These tumors are discussed in more detail in our document Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors.
Other types of cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and leiomyosarcoma, can also start in the stomach, but these cancers are very rare.
Treatment Of Stomach Cancer
Your treatment options for stomach cancer depend on the stage of your cancer.There are two types of treatment of stomach cancer. They are :-
The goal of surgery is to remove all of the stomach cancer and a margin of healthy tissue, when possible.
Removing early-stage tumors from the stomach lining
Very small cancers limited to the inside lining of the stomach may be removed using endoscopy in a procedure called endoscopic mucosal resection.
Removing a portion of the stomach (subtotal gastrectomy)
During subtotal gastrectomy, the surgeon removes only the portion of the stomach affected by cancer.
Removing the entire stomach (total gastrectomy)
Total gastrectomy involves removing the entire stomach and some surrounding tissue. The esophagus is then connected directly to the small intestine to allow food to move through your digestive system.
Removing lymph nodes to look for cancer
The surgeon examines and removes lymph nodes in your abdomen to look for cancer cells.
Surgery to relieve signs and symptoms.
Removing part of the stomach may relieve signs and symptoms of a growing tumor in people with advanced stomach cancer. In this case, surgery can’t cure advanced stomach cancer, but it can make you more comfortable.
Radiation therapy can be used before surgery (neoadjuvant radiation) to shrink a stomach tumor so that it’s more easily removed. Radiation therapy can also be used after surgery (adjuvant radiation) to kill any cancer cells that might remain around your stomach. Radiation is often combined with chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy can be given before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to help shrink a tumor so that it can be more easily removed. Chemotherapy is also used after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) to kill any cancer cells that might remain in the body.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs travel throughout your body, killing cancer cells that may have spread beyond the stomach.