Stomach Cancer Treatment
Stomach Cancer | Overview
Stomach cancer is a disease characterized by the growth and spread of cancer cells in the stomach. While not as prevalent in the United States, stomach cancer (also known as “gastric cancer”) is much more common in other parts of the world, particularly China and Japan. Certain conditions or lifestyle choices may increase the risk of stomach cancer, such as smoking, stomach inflammation, stomach polyps, or high-salt diets.
Stomach Cancer | Symptoms & Diagnosis
Early detection and treatment can increase the chances of surviving the fight against stomach cancer. Early warning signs often include:
- Persistent heartburn
- Persistent indigestion
- Sudden weight loss
Endoscopies are commonly used as a diagnostic tool for stomach cancer. A small tube travels into the stomach and provides a video feed to visually diagnosis an abnormality. A biopsy may be used to collect tissue samples to test for the presence of cancer cells. Imaging tests such as CT scans or X-rays are often used to support a diagnosis. Once stomach cancer has been diagnosed, the stage of development is often determined.
Stomach Cancer | Stages of Development
Stomach cancer is typically classified as being in one of four stages of development.
Stage I: Stomach cancer is small and contained mostly to the stomach or a few surrounding lymph nodes.
Stage II: Stomach cancer has grown, spreading to the walls of muscle surrounding the stomach. It is also common for the cancer to have spread to more lymph nodes in the area.
Stage III: Stomach cancer has likely permeated all regions of the stomach. It is also classified as being in this stage if several smaller cancerous growths have spread to a larger number of lymph nodes.
Stage IV: Stomach cancer has grown and spread to multiple areas of the body.
Stomach Cancer | Treatment
The preferred method of treatment for stomach cancer is typically surgical removal of cancerous growths. If the cancer has spread through too much of the stomach or has spread to other areas of the body, this is typically no longer a reasonable option. A number of drugs are available which aim to slow or even stop the spread of stomach cancer.
Beyond that, two of the most common options for cancer treatment, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, are commonly employed. While they are widely believed to be effective in treating stomach cancer, they often induce a number of debilitating side effects.
Stomach Cancer | Prognosis
The five-year survival rate for those battling stomach cancer is believed to be above 60%. If the cancer has spread to other regions of the body, that number may drop to as low as 4%. Having a solid support network and positive mentality can make a world of difference for those suffering from any form of cancer. Request more information about treatment and support for stomach cancer patients today. Call or contact us online.