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About Stomach Cancer: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments, Cures and Research

Let’s go through the different causes and symptoms of stomach cancer. Then, we’ll touch on some of the current ways to diagnose and treat stomach cancer. Finally, we’ll discuss the survival rates and research concerning stomach cancer. This guide is based on information from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the U.S. government’s principal agency for cancer research.

Possible Causes
of Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer occurs for many reasons. For some people, genetics plays a significant role. Here are some of the biggest risk factors associated with stomach cancer.

Stomach Cancer Symptoms

In the early stages of stomach cancer, the following signs and symptoms may occur:

In more advanced stages of stomach cancer, the following signs and symptoms may occur:

Stomach Cancer Diagnosis

If you or your doctor suspect you may have stomach cancer, make an appointment with a gastroenterologist, which is a doctor who specializes in the digestive system. During an appointment, they will ask you to provide them with stool and blood samples alongside a thorough physical examination.

They may also ask for imaging, including an:

Stomach Cancer Cure
& Treatments

In most cases, stomach cancers are only cured when diagnosed in the early stages. Stomach cancer has a five-year survival rate of 33.3 percent. Doctors will use some or all of the following treatments in an attempt to get your stomach cancer into remission including surgery, endoscopic mucosal resection, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, chemoradiation, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Surgery is a common treatment for stomach cancer. The most common surgeries used include subtotal gastrectomy and total gastrectomy. The following procedures can be performed if the tumor is blocking the stomach, but the cancer cannot be removed by standard surgery: endoluminal stent placement, endoluminal laser therapy and gastrojejunostomy. Endoscopic mucosal resection is a procedure that uses an endoscope to remove any precancerous growths or early stage cancer from the digestive tract lining without surgery.

Radiation therapy targets cancer cells by using high-energy X-rays or radiation beams to keep them from growing. This type of treatment can be customized to each patient depending on the type and stage of the cancer being treated. Chemotherapy involves very strong drugs that kill cancerous cells and can prevent them from coming back. Chemoradiation therapy combines chemotherapy and radiation therapy to increase the effects of both. Targeted therapy uses drugs or other substances to target and attack cancer cells. Usually, targeted therapies are less harmful than chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Patients have special nutritional needs during esophageal cancer treatments. Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer.

Stomach Cancer Survival Rates

When people measure the survival rates of cancer, they primarily focus on the five-year survival rate. The five-year survival rate measures how many people with a certain type of cancer survived five years or more after diagnosis and the beginning of treatment. The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program keeps track of cancer statistics in the United States. They also have a system to judge where cancer is in its growth cycle. There are three categories—localized, regional, and distant.

Localized refers to cancer that only exists in the area where cancerous growth began. The initial cancerous growth has not spread to any other part of the body. The five-year survival rate for localized stomach cancer is 71.8%.

Regional refers to cancer that has spread from its original location, but not to places far away. In the case of stomach cancer, this could mean spreading to the esophagus or colon among other locations. The five-year survival rate for regional stomach cancer is 32.9%. Distant refers to cancer that has spread to places far from the original location of the cancerous growth. This could mean spreading to the lungs, brain, blood or any other part of your body. The five-year survival rate for distant stomach cancer is 5.9%.

Final Word

Stomach cancer represents almost 1.4 percent of all new cancer cases in the US. Many factors influence the risk of getting stomach cancer. If you believe you are at risk of stomach cancer or exhibit any of the associated symptoms, contact your healthcare provider right away.