Cancer, which is a mad multiplication of cells, is among the most fatal diseases known to mankind. There are more than 100 types of cancers; and of these, one of the most deadliest is stomach cancer or gastric cancer. It is malignant tumor in the lining of the stomach, which later spreads on to the intestines and other organs.
Causes and Risk Factors
- Gender: Stomach cancer is seen more in men than in women.
- Age: The risk of stomach cancer is higher in those above the age of 60
- Helicobacter pylori: Helicobacter pylori is a major cause of stomach cancer. A long term infection by this germ can lead to inflammation and pre-cancerous changes in the inner lining of stomach.
- Unhealthy Eating: People whose diet include high fat food, low fibre food, red meat, fried food are prone to stomach cancer
- Tobacco: Smoking doubles the risk of stomach cancer
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese is a possible cause of cancers of the cardia (the upper part of the stomach nearest the esophagus)
- Previous stomach surgery: Stomach cancers are more likely to develop in people who have had part of their stomach removed to treat non-cancerous diseases such as ulcers.
While treating cancers, doctors from all concerned sub specialities work together to plan the patient’s overall treatment and provide optimal medical care.
Stomach cancer is usually treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy, according to the extent of growth.
Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, possible side effects, and the patient’s preferences and overall health.
Care for symptoms and side effects
Symptoms of stomach cancer usually include:
- Pain or discomfort in the upper tummy (abdomen), especially after eating.
- Feeling sick, and being off food
- Weight loss and/or loss of appetite
- Traces of blood in the stool
Cancer and its treatment often cause side effects. Patients are usually given treatment for the cancer and ease side effects at the same time to ensure a better quality of life.
Remember, the best way to avoid cancer is early detection. If you notice any abnormal symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.