Stomach cancer is also called Gastric Cancer or Adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Several types of cancer occur in the stomach, out of them Adenocarcinoma is the most common. Adenocarcinoma is commonly seen in males above the age of 40 years. It is commonly seen in places like Japan, Chile and Iceland. This incidence is most probably associated to the high amounts of smoked food, canned food consumed by people living in these regions. At a point of time it was commonly seen in the United States as well, but over the years its incidence has decreased considerably. This could be due to a decreased consumption of smoked and canned food.
A look at stomach cancer prognosis…
There are several risk factors associated with the development of Stomach cancer. You may be at an added risk if you have a positive family history of gastric cancer, history of smoking, if you are suffering from a condition called pernicious anaemia, chronic atrophic gastritis; you are suffering from Helicobacter pylori infection in your stomach or have a history of a adenomatous gastric polyp larger than 2 centimeters.
If you are suffering from stomach cancer you may complain of sudden weight loss which is unintentional. You may also complain of weakness, fatigue, pain in abdomen, difficulty in swallowing, nausea, vomiting, excessive abdominal fullness after meals, excessive belching, vomiting of blood, dark stools and loss of appetite.
If you fit into the high risk criteria and are suffering from symptoms suspicious of stomach cancer it is best that you visit your doctor at the earliest. It is usually not detected in the early stages as most patients suffer from mild symptoms and ignore these symptoms or self medicate themselves and visit a doctor only when it is very late. Once you visit your doctor he might advice you certain tests like Complete blood count, stool test and Oesophagoduodenoscopy with a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of stomach cancer as well as to detect the type of stomach cancer based on the biopsy report.
The treatment of stomach cancer involves a surgical procedure called as Gastrectomy which means removal of the stomach. Following surgery your doctor might advice you to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy both of which improve the chances of a cure and improve the survival rate. Patients, who cannot undergo surgery, may be advised to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which may not be curative but improves symptoms.
The stomach cancer prognosis largely depends on the part of your stomach involved – those located in the lower part of the stomach are cured more often than those higher up. The stage at which the cancer is detected also has an important role to play in the prognosis. In the early stages the cancer may spread into the deeper layers of the stomach lining, later on it may spread to the surrounding lymph nodes. When the tumour has spread well beyond the stomach and into the surrounding tissues, complete cure may not be possible and treatment is aimed at palliation of your symptoms.
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