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What are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer ?

What are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer ?

Posted On : June 13, 2019

Information on Stomach Cancer

The stomach forms an important part of the digestive system. It is the organ that is responsible not only for storing the food but also part of the digestion process, aided by other digestive organs. Stomach cancer is characterized by the formation of cancer cells in the inner lining of the stomach, which can also form into tumours. Also known as gastric cancer, this is a very common kind of cancer and also a leading cause of cancer-related fatalities worldwide.

Causes of Stomach Cancer

The exact cause of the origin and growth of cancerous cells is as yet unknown, but scientists have determined a few factors that increase the risk of this disease. Some of the causes are:

  • H. pylori bacterial infection, which can result in ulcers
  • Inflammation in the gut, known as gastritis
  • Growth of polyps, abnormal tissue growths in the stomach lining
  • A class of blood cancers known as lymphoma
  • A type of long-lasting anemia called Pernicious anemia

Apart from these, there are other risk factors that can make getting affected by this disease more likely. These include:

  • Consumption of salty, processed, pickled and smoked foods
  • Consumption of meat and/or improperly cooked or stored foods
  • Obesity
  • Smoking and excessive alcoholism
  • Working in certain industries such as coal, metal, timber and rubber
  • Lack of exercise
  • Exposure to asbestos
  • The previous instance of stomach surgery for an infection
  • Genetic factors

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

This disease usually presents itself with no initial symptoms. People who are eventually found to have this condition invariably mistake the initial symptoms for that of a common stomach ache or virus. And by the time they seek medical intervention, cancer will have in all probability advanced to higher and more severe stages. Therefore, it is advisable to be aware of some of the early signs and symptoms.

  • Prolonged heartburn or indigestion
  • Poor appetite
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort, usually above the navel
  • Bloating in the stomach due to swelling or build-up of fluids
  • Bloody stools
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • The feeling of tiredness or breathlessness

If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, it is highly recommended to visit the doctor right away. S.L Raheja (A Fortis Associate) is a reputed multi-speciality tertiary care centre which offers the best treatment for stomach cancer, aided in no small part by its dedicated team of oncologists who practice cutting-edge techniques adhering to international standards of medicine, and the latest facilities in
it’s premises.

What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?

The treatment options depend on a variety of factors such as the stage and severity of the disease, the person’s overall health etc. The common treatment options are:

  • Surgery: This is usually performed if diagnosed in the initial stages. The doctor removes the lymph nodes as well as part of the stomach or its entirety.
  • Chemotherapy: This is performed if the tumour has spread to the lymph nodes. Cytotoxic medicines are administered which travel throughout the body and attack the cancer cells at their place of origin and any other region to which they have metastasized.
  • Radiation Therapy: High-intensity energy rays are used to kill cancer cells. This method is not frequently used due to the hazards the rays pose to the adjacent organs. But, if the condition is serious enough, it is performed.
  • Immunotherapy: Certain vaccines and targeted medications may be given to attack specific types of abnormalities in the cancer cells. But many of the drugs are in the stages of clinical trials or experimental in nature.

The Department of Oncology at S.L. Raheja Hospital employs some of the best oncologists for stomach cancer in its pursuit of providing quality, affordable cancer care to the general population. Visiting a doctor for periodic health checks and following a healthy lifestyle are often the best prophylactic steps for stomach cancer.

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