Gastric Cancer Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
The most common type of gastric cancer is gastric adenocarcinoma, while other forms are less common, lymphoma, carcinoid and sarcoma.
The stomach is an organ that is located in the upper part of the abdomen and has a very important role in the food digestion. After the food is mixed in the stomach, the occurred humus, continues in the small intestine.
Gastric Cancer Symptoms
Adenocarcinoma or gastric tumor occurs in the gland tissue of the gastric mucosa. In the western counties the appearance of this type of cancer is reduces, but it is still the most common form of cancer.
Five year survival of patients that are suffering from gastric cancer is around 30%. This low percentage is due the very late discovery after the metastasis will spread to the other organs also.
On the other hand at patients where the metastasis are not spread on the other organs, the five year survival percentage is approximately 65%. If the surrounding tissues and local lymph nodes are affected, those survival percentages are 30% and if the cancer has affected the other organs before the diagnosis the five year survival is 5%.
This statistics must be taken with caution, because the course of the disease can vary significantly at individuals.
Who can get gastric cancer?
Mainly, persons over 55 years of age have the highest risk of getting gastric cancer, because this risk increases with aging. Men are twice more affected by this disease than women.
Extended infection with a H. pylori bacteria is the primary cause of gastric cancer. This bacteria lives in the mucous membrane of the stomach.
This type of cancer can affect people that had family or relative affected of this disease or people that have genetic disorder that increases the risk of gastric cancer.If your diet is rich in smoked and salty foods or you had surgery (resection of the stomach), if you are smoker and if drink too much alcohol, the risk of getting gastric cancer is higher.
Signs and diagnostic of the disease
There are no symptoms of the disease in its early stage. As the disease progresses, discomfort and abdominal pain may occur.
Nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, vomiting blood, rapid saturation, unexplained weight lose or black stool are also some of the symptoms of this disease. Gastroscopy with biopsies, is the first approach in the diagnostic of this disease.
Ultrasound can be used to determinate the progress of the disease. Also tomography, magnetic resonance and even laparoscopy can be taken for diagnosing.
Treatment of gastric cancer
At the stage when the tumor is localized only on the interior wall of the stomach, surgical treatment is necessary. With this surgery, a large part of the stomach is removed.
In some cases, the entire stomach can be removed including the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes. Chemo and radiotherapy has to be taken when the gastric cancer has penetrated through the wall of the stomach into the surrounding tissues and lymph nodes.
In patients where the disease is spread on the other organs in form of metastasis, chemo and radiotherapy is necessary just to extend the life of the patient, because treatment, unfortunately is not possible.
There is no drug therapy that can give significant result in the treatment of gastric cancer.