Stomach Cancer: Symptoms, Causes, Types and Treatments

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

 

In its early stage, stomach cancer hardly shows any symptoms. Hence, it goes undetected. 

Take a look at the following pre-cancerous conditions and signs to get timely diagnosis and treatment -

Pre-Cancerous Conditions

Meaning

Early Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Gastric epithelial dysplasia

It occurs when there is an abnormal change in cells present in the stomach lining (mucosa).

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Gastric adenoma

It is a kind of polyp made up of abnormal glandular cells found in the stomach lining.

Advanced stage symptoms are - Mild abdominal discomfort, Nausea, Vomiting, Anaemia, Bleeding.

Other advanced signs of stomach cancer are as follows -

  • Frequent heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Jaundice
  • Excessive exhaustion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling full after consuming a small meal
  • Blood in stool
  • Dysphagia or problem in swallowing food etc.

Note: Stomach cancer symptoms in a female and male are similar.

What Causes Stomach Cancer?

Types of Stomach Cancer

 

Take a look at the following types of stomach cancer -

 

Adenocarcinomas 

Approximately 90 to 95% of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas. This develops in the gland cells present in the inner lining of the stomach. There are two types of adenocarcinomas -

Types of Stomach Cancer

Meaning

Diffuse

It grows more rapidly and is difficult to treat.

Intestinal

The cancer cells undergo genetic changes and are easier to treat, unlike the diffuse type. It also has a better prognosis.

Other Types of Stomach Cancer

Types of Stomach Cancer

Meaning

Gastrointestinal stromal tumours

This tumour can grow in any part of the digestive tract, but mainly they develop in the stomach. It begins in the stomach wall, interstitial cells of the Cajal.

Lymphomas

It develops in the lymphocytes.

Neuroendocrine tumours (including carcinoid)

It develops in the cells found in the stomach or other parts of the digestive tract. These cells act like nerve or endocrine cells (for different parts).

What Are the Stages of Stomach Cancer?

 

Medical practitioners will prescribe the following tests for stomach cancer diagnosis -

1. MRI, CT and PET scan

2. Ultrasound

3. Upper endoscopy

4. Upper GI series etc.

 

Now, healthcare professionals will stage adenocarcinomas or stomach cancer based on the spread of cancer to the stomach and other body parts. Take a look -

Stages of Stomach Cancer

Meaning

Stage 0

Abnormal growth of cancer cells is diagnosed in the mucosa of the stomach wall.

Stage 1

Tumour is present in the stomach, and many have reached one or two lymph nodes.

Stage 2

Cancer cells spread deeper, reaching the inner linings of the stomach and nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 3

Cancer has spread entirely to the stomach and other body parts, including – spleen, pancreas etc.

Stage 4

The metastasised cancer cells spread to the other distant body parts – lungs, liver, bones etc. It is challenging to cure stage 4 stomach cancer.

5 Recommended Treatments for Stomach Cancer

 

Doctors prescribe treatments based on the origin and stage of stomach cancer. Here are the following treatments mentioned below -

Suggested Treatments

Procedures

Surgery

It involves the removal of the tumour and nearby healthy tissues. The surgery depends on the stages of cancer. It is mainly recommended to patients in an early stage of cancer.

Radiation therapy

Doctors use high energy X-ray beams to destroy cancer cells.

Chemotherapy

Doctors use drugs like cisplatin, oxaliplatin etc., to destroy or reduce the growth of cancer cells.

Targeted therapy

The treatment targets specific cancer's genes or proteins and blocks the growth and spread of these cells.

Biologic or Immunotherapy

Doctors use a specific substance to boost the immune system of a patient and fight cancer.

Is Stomach Cancer Curable?

Frequently Asked Questions