Stomach cancer or gastric cancer as it sometimes called is a very serious type of cancer especially if not caught early on. It can move rapidly once it starts, and metastasizes over major organs. Before I begin speaking of what common causes might be of stomach cancer, I’d like to explain exactly what stomach cancer is.
First of all, cancer of the stomach occurs in the abdominal area. Adenocarcinoma is the cancer type which is growing inside of the stomach lining which is your mucous producing cells. This cancer is the most diagnosed of stomach cancers.
Signs and symptoms that you may have the onset of stomach cancer are these:
1. Stomach feels full all of the time
2. Eating makes you feel very uncomfortable due to fullness. Your stomach may even look very distended or bloated.
3. GERD which is gastroesphageal reflux disease (heartburn in other words,) may be painful all of the time and there will be no relief even with taking a number of antacids.
4. Upset stomach all of the time
5. Intense abdominal pains
6. Projectile vomiting
7. Losing excessive weight
If you are having those symptoms all of the time, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible for evaluation.
Causes of stomach cancer are not exactly known one-hundred percent. But research has come up with causes in people diagnosed with this type of cancer. They seem to include people who:
1. Are heavy smokers which over time can destroy the stomach lining causing cancers to form there
2. Have ulcers regularly or other stomach issues such as gastritis
3. Drink a lot of alcoholic beverages
4. Have heartburn problems that are chronic causing excessive amounts of stomach acids
5. Too many greasy and fatty foods, (bad diet)
6. Runs in families
7. Not enough healthier foods such as vegetables and fruits, etc.
8. H. Pylori is a bacteria that people contract in the stomach which can cause cancers
9. People that are not clean enough with foods practicing poor sanitation and as a result, food contamination can ignite stomach cancers.
So these are things to keep in mind on possibly even avoiding stomach cancer. Family history cannot be corrected, but you can practice proper nutrition, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, and treat other stomach related issues to avoid the possibility of stomach cancer.
Once a doctor suspects stomach cancer in a patient, they will do certain medical tests. One of the tests that he or she might perform in endoscopy. This test has a camera on the end of a tube which will be placed down your throat under local anaesthesia. The camera will pick up what is going on inside of the stomach lining and tissue. The gastroenterologist can snip out a piece of stomach tissue using this tool and test it for adenocarcinomas or other cancer cells such as a lymphoma. Lymphoma is another cancer that can also be found in the stomach, though as I said, adenocarcinoma is most common.
Another part of cancer testing is a PET scan. This test can help the doctor to understand and know which stage of stomach cancer you have. Treatments will all be based on this factor once the cancer is found.
There are a number of treatment options for stomach cancer such as radiation, chemotherapies, and surgery for removing portions of the stomach. This is known as a gastrectomy which is very radical. Having surgery all depends upon the degree of the cancer of which there are four stages, and stage four most serious. Sometimes the surgery does a great deal to prolong life and survival at stage four, as long as the cancer has not spread to other areas of the body causing metastasis.