How Is Stomach Cancer Diagnosed
Several different tests can be used to help diagnose stomach cancer.
- Radiologic tests like a CT scan, barium swallow and MRI can help identify a problem in the stomach if the tumor is large enough.
- An upper endoscopy is used to take a biopsy of the lesion to make the diagnosis or to detect early cancer before a mass is large enough to be seen on radiologic tests. An upper endoscopy is performed by inserting a thin tube with a tiny camera through the mouth and into the stomach, where biopsies are obtained from the tumor.
- To find out how much of the stomach wall a tumor involves and to help assess the stage of the cancer, a doctor will order an endoscopic ultrasound, which uses a special type of endoscope that has an ultrasound probe. The endoscope is placed in the stomach through the mouth. The ultrasound probe is able to look through the surface of the stomach lining to the stomach wall beyond and see how much of the stomach is involved by the tumor.
Who Should Receive Cbc Tests
A complete blood count test is usually ordered as part of a routine yearly physical exam for all adults 30 years and older. Additional reasons for a CBC are:
- If you are ill with a fever
- Suspect an infection
- Are losing weight without trying
- If you have signs of cancer like general weakness, bruising, or bleeding
If you have a medical condition that requires you to take medication, you may have CBCs regularly to ensure your blood counts remain consistent.
How Endoscopy Detects Stomach Cancer
In the early stages ofstomach cancer, many patients experience few or no symptoms. Because the lack of symptomsmakes stomach cancer difficult to detect, doctors often diagnose thedisease at more advanced stages. By that point, it is more challenging totreat.
Johns Hopkins gastroenterologistSaowanee Ngamruengphong, M.D., explains how doctors look at the stomach lining without performingsurgery. The endoscopic procedure helps screen high-risk patients anddiagnose this disease earlier.
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Can You Treat Stomach Cancer By Changing Your Diet
Using a healthy diet to treat stomach cancer is not enough to cure cancer, but you can talk to your doctor about using it as part of a medical plan to improve your overall health. Those who eat a diet rich in produce like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains may decrease their risk for stomach cancer. However, some studies show that increasing plant-based foods reduces the risk of fatal stomach cancer in men, but not women. Talk with your healthcare provider about your dietary options.
How Blood Protein Testing Works
Blood protein testing uses a process called electrophoresis to measure two types of proteins in the blood: globulin and albumin. Albumin is the most abundant protein in the blood. Low levels of albumin can signal myeloma as the cancer may block its production. High levels of globulin can signal myeloma as it can cause an increase in production of globulin.
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How Does Cancer Blood Testing Work
The proliferation of cancer cells is brought about by mutated DNA. Fragments of the erroneous DNA and certain proteins get released into the bloodstream as the tumors start to grow. Some of these proteins include antigens released by the tumor. A total of 16 gene mutations and a number of proteins related to cancer can be identified from the blood. Each of these proteins corresponds to a different type of cancer, making it possible to identify all eight types of cancer using just one blood sample.
Cancer blood tests can also be performed to detect circulating tumor cells , which are another indicator of malignant cells in the body. The cells that are identified in the blood can be used to trace back to where they originated from and find the part of the body where the tumor might be.
Diagnosis Of Stomach Cancer
Diagnosing stomach cancer usually begins with a visit to your family doctor. Your doctor will ask you about any symptoms you have and do a physical exam. Based on this information, your doctor may refer you to a specialist or order tests to check for stomach cancer or other health problems.
The process of diagnosis may seem long and frustrating. Its normal to worry, but try to remember that other health conditions can cause similar symptoms as stomach cancer. Its important for the healthcare team to rule out other reasons for a health problem before making a diagnosis of stomach cancer.
The following tests are commonly used to rule out or diagnose stomach cancer. Many of the same tests used to diagnose cancer are used to find out the stage, which is how far the cancer has progressed. Your doctor may also order other tests to check your general health and to help plan your treatment.
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What Kind Of Doctor Treats Stomach Cancer
There is a team of specialists that cares for people with stomach cancer:
- Gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in the stomach and intestines
- Surgical oncologist: a doctor who surgically removes cancer tumors and cancerous cells
- Medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with oral or systemic medication
- Radiation oncologist: a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with radiation therapy
- Pathologist: a doctor who evaluates cells, tissues and organs and performs other laboratory tests to diagnose disease
- Radiologist: a doctor who uses imaging tests to diagnose disease
Depending on your condition and where you are in your treatment, you may meet with any one of these specialists at a given time.
What Makes Endoscopy So Effective
Even with an endoscope, it can be difficult to distinguish cancerouslesions from healthy or scarred stomach tissue.
Ngamruengphong explains why: When we perform a screening endoscopy, wedont see a large mass when cancer is present. Instead, we often see verysmall, very subtle lesions.
Doctors with extensive experience using this screening tool can more easilyspot the subtleties of very early stomach cancer. With the help of recentendoscopic technology advances such as high-quality images and dyes,doctors can detect cancer at even earlier stages.
The combination of experienced doctors and sophisticated technologyadvancements means people can get diagnosed and treated earlier. Andthe earlier cancer is treated, the higher the chance of a successfulresult.
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Limitations Of Blood Tumor Markers
An abnormal blood tumor marker result does not necessarily mean you have cancer. For example, only about one in four abnormal prostate-specific antigen results is due to cancer, and approximately 15% of prostate cancer is missed.
There are many reasons for abnormal PSA levels. Similarly, carcinoembryonic antigen , a tumor marker used in colon cancer, is only made in 70 to 80% of colon cancers. Therefore, 20 to 30% of people with colon cancer will not have a raised CEA level.
Tumor blood markers aren’t typically able to diagnose cancer independently but can be combined with other tests for diagnosis. Tumor blood markers can also:
- Monitor the progression of cancer to see whether or not treatments are working
- Determine whether or not cancer has recurred after treatment or surgery
- Help determine the cancer stage
- Help determine the best treatment
- See if a tumor is growing or spreading to other parts of the body
Positive test results may be due to a noncancerous condition. Your doctor can help you understand the results of tumor blood markers and what they mean for you.
|Tumor Blood Markers Tests
Blood Parameters Normal Values & How Does Cancer Show Up In A Routine Blood Work
It is quite clear from the tables above that a routine blood work is able to diagnose blood cancers. It can also show how well your bone marrow and spleen may be working.
Relationship Between Colon Cancer and A Complete Blood Count
1.A retrospective study was conducted to evaluate the value of a complete blood count in predicting cancer of colon over a period of 5 years. The study revealed
Out of 127 Patients Who Had Cancer of Right Side of Colon, Showed
- 87% patients had a high red cell distribution width
- 69% patients had anemia
- 55% patients had a low MCV
Out of 98 Patients Who Had Cancer of Left Side of Colon, Showed
- 50% patients had elevated red cell distribution width
- 44% patients had anemia
- 22% patients had a low MCV
Red Cell Distribution Width Diameter of a normal red blood cell measures 6-8 micrometers. If cells are large, RDW will be high.
It was observed that red cell distribution width was 88% specific for cancer of right side of the colon. And therefore, this parameter could be used for screening purposes among high risk groups.
2.Another study was conducted over a wide period of 15 years to understand the proportion of iron deficiency anemia is patients having right sided cancer of colon.
So the question that remains, does cancer show up in routine blood work?
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Different Kinds Of Fobt
There are two main types of FOBT:
Guaiac Smear Test
- Collect three different samples from separate bowel movements
- Swab the stool and store it in the given container. Ensure that it doesnt get in contact with urine or water
- Label your samples, as per the instruction
- Submit your results for testing
Fecal Immunochemical Test
- Collect three different samples from separate bowel movements
- A special device will be included in your kit. Use this to collect the sample
- Swab the sample onto a test card, or any container provided on your kit
- Label your samples, as per the instruction
- Submit your results for testing
Remember: Early detection is the best way to fight colon cancer.
Get screened for colon polyps today.
How Can You Detect Stomach Cancer Early
Be sure to contact your medical provider if you feel like something is not right. There are screening tests for stomach cancer when people are at risk for or are experiencing signs and symptoms. Diagnostic evaluations for gastric cancer include:
- Complete medical history and physical exam
- Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to view the esophagus, stomach and small intestine after sedation. A small, flexible tube is inserted into the mouth with a tiny camera on the end that allows the doctor to see inside your stomach.
- Biopsy of stomach tissue to be evaluated under a microscope
- CT scan to visualize organs during X-ray
- Endoscopic ultrasound to diagnose and treat stomach cancer at the same time by visualizing organs and nearby blood vessels
- Positron emission tomography scan to illuminate cancer cells. A radioactive sugar tracer is used because cancer cells use more sugar than healthy cells and the tracer illuminates the cancer cells.
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Tests Of Organ Function
If cancer is found, the doctor might recommend certain lab tests, especially if surgery might be an option. For instance, blood tests will be done to make sure your liver and kidneys are working normally and that your blood clots normally.
If surgery is planned or you are going to get medicines that can affect the heart, you may also have an electrocardiogram and/or an echocardiogram to make sure your heart is functioning well.
How The Test Works
Often long before causing any symptoms, even very small tumours will begin to release minute amounts of mutated DNA and abnormal proteins into blood. While DNA and proteins are also released from normal cells, the DNA and proteins from cancer cells are unique, containing multiple changes not present in normal cells.
The newly developed blood-based cancer DNA test is exquisitely sensitive, accurately detecting one mutated fragment of DNA among 10,000 normal DNA fragments, literally finding the needle in the haystack.
We used CancerSEEK in just over 1,000 people with different types of early stage cancers. It was shown to accurately detect the cancer, including in 70% or more of pancreas, ovary, liver, stomach and esophageal cancers. For each of these tumour types there are currently no screening tests available blood based or otherwise.
Along with cancer detection, the blood test accurately predicted what type of cancer it was in 83% of cases.
Published in the journal Science, the research was led by a team from John Hopkins University, with collaboration from Australian scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
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Older Age And Certain Chronic Conditions Increase The Risk Of Stomach Cancer
Anything that increases the chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk for stomach cancer. Risk factors for stomach cancer include the following:
- Having any of the following medical conditions:
- Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach.
- Chronicgastric atrophy .
- Pernicious anemia .
- Intestinalmetaplasia .
- Polyps in the stomach.
The risk of stomach cancer is increased in people who come from countries where stomach cancer is common.
Am I At Risk Of Colon Cancer
Studies show that early screening for colon cancer not only reduces its occurrence but also improves a persons overall mortality . Screening is the process of identifying colorectal changes in its earliest forms before significant symptoms even appear.
Screening is especially helpful for individuals who have a higher risk of contracting colon cancer for the following reasons:
- Colon cancer is more commonly diagnosed in adults 50 years old and above. Doctors recommend getting screened for cancer yearly
- People of African-American heritage are at a greater risk of developing colon cancer than other races
- Patients with previous histories of benign colon growths or polyps are still at risk of developing colon cancer in the future
- While colon cancer isnt hereditary, there are some inherited syndromes that can increase your risk of colon cancer. These include the Lynch Syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis to name a few
- Lifestyle factors such as obesity and heavy alcohol and cigarette consumption
- Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis
- Type 2 diabetes patients who have a hard time controlling their condition
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Can Blood Tests Detect Cancer Anywhere In The Body
Once in a while, you have had your friend, relative or even prominent personnel have passed on due to cancer, have you ever wondered what this cancer is? Actually, cancer also is known commonly as Malignancy is a condition where there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in any part of the body.
Research done show that there are more than 100 different types of cancer among them include lung cancer, lymphoma, breast cancer, colon cancer among others. An individual with cancer will show different sign since different cancers have different symptoms. Since cancer can affect anyone routine blood testing is required. Most people wonder if blood tests detect cancer anywhere in the body. The answer is yes.
When one is diagnosed to be having a cancer different treatment can be carried depending on the position of the cancer and the type of the that cancer. Some of the treatment used includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. All different types of cancer can be treated successfully if at all the diagnosis is done while cancer is at an early stage.
Circulating Tumor Cell Test
A circulating tumor cell test can check for blood biomarkers that show whether normal cells are transforming into cancer cells. CTC tests can help diagnose and screen patients who have a risk of developing cancer, such as a family history of the disease.
CTC tests are helpful in the early detection of cancer as well as monitoring treatment effectiveness over time. The only test currently approved for this purpose is called CellSearch CTC, which offers different prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer assays.
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Colon Cancer And White Blood Cell Count
White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and are easily detectable in blood tests. A specific type of white blood cell called the neutrophil is responsible for warding off infections and destroying harmful cells.
The normal neutrophil count is 1,000/1 microliter. A deficiency in neutrophils is called neutropenia. This is caused by severe infections that are too invasive.
On the other hand, neutrophil production can also be stalled by the presence of cancer. Cancer treatments can also affect neutrophil count due to radiation exposure. Keeping track of your neutrophil count can help you understand how your body works.
Signs You Have Colon Cancer
Rectal bleeding is not the sole sign of colon cancer. In fact, symptoms exhibited by patients may vary. Below are the most common signs of colon cancer:
- A constant change in bowel movement including diarrhea and constipation
- Change in stool consistency
- Cramping, gas, and other forms of pain
- Consistent and progressive abdominal discomfort
- Fatigue and breathlessness
- Unprecedented weight loss
- Feeling bloated
- Inability to pass gas
The presence of blood in the stool is interpreted as an alarming sign of colon cancer. However, that alone is not a conclusive proof of colon cancer. Doctors usually require further testing to clearly establish the cause of the bleeding.
On the other hand, experiencing abnormal bleeding accompanied with one or more of the symptoms above require urgent medical attention. Various tests are available in order to rule out colon cancer.