Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

  • Overview

  • Symptoms

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatment

Overview

Stomach cancer usually starts in the lining of the stomach and grows gradually over years.

Early Symptoms

 Early stomach cancer can cause the following symptoms, which are typically associated with less serious medical conditions:

  • Constant stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite or chronic indigestion
  • Continuous discomfort or fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating, particularly after meals
  • Weight loss

As the cancer progresses the symptoms can become more pronounced and cause more discomfort:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Stomach pain or vomiting, especially after meals
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Jaundice
  • Weakness
  • Burping
  • Fluid build-up around the stomach
  • Anemia
  • Stomach ulcer that refuses to heal

These symptoms also need not mean you have stomach cancer. However, its better to know their causes as early as possible.

Diagnosis

  • Endoscopy
  • Barium X-Ray
  • Biopsy

Treatment

Minimally Invasive Procedures: Early or localized stomach tumours are often neutralized with laparoscopy and robotic surgery.

Surgery: Advanced or aggressive stomach cancers may require one of the following operations. A partial gastrectomy extracts part of the stomach and surrounding lymph nodes. The surgeon may also remove tissues and parts of other organs affected. For more advanced cancers, a total gastrectomy removes the entire stomach along with parts of nearby organs. The oesophagus is then directly connected to the small intestine to enable normal eating and swallowing.

Chemotherapy: Drugs to kill cancer cells anywhere they might have spread may be given before or after surgery. A more effective way to deliver chemotherapy drugs is by Intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy. The drugs are placed directly into your internal abdominal area with a surgically implanted catheter.

Radiation Therapy: Various types of radiation therapy may augment the treatment, with or without chemotherapy