Can Esophageal Cancer Be Found Early
Typically, cancer screens are used to look for cancer in patients who have no symptoms of the disease. However, this process is not currently practiced in the United States for this type of cancer because no test has been shown to lower the risk of death from esophageal cancer in patients with an average risk. However, patients who are at a high risk of esophageal cancer, such as those with Barrets esophagus, are followed closely by their physician to look for early cancers.
If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Breast
If you have radiation to the breast, it can affect your heart or lungs as well causing other side effects.
Short-term side effects
Radiation to the breast can cause:
- Skin irritation, dryness, and color changes
- Breast soreness
- Breast swelling from fluid build-up
To avoid irritating the skin around the breast, women should try to go without wearing a bra whenever they can. If this isnt possible, wear a soft cotton bra without underwires.
If your shoulders feel stiff, ask your cancer care team about exercises to keep your shoulder moving freely.
Breast soreness, color changes, and fluid build-up will most likely go away a month or 2 after you finish radiation therapy. If fluid build-up continues to be a problem, ask your cancer care team what steps you can take. See Lymphedema for more information.
Long-term changes to the breast
Radiation therapy may cause long-term changes in the breast. Your skin may be slightly darker, and pores may be larger and more noticeable. The skin may be more or less sensitive and feel thicker and firmer than it was before treatment. Sometimes the size of your breast changes it may become larger because of fluid build-up or smaller because of scar tissue. These side effects may last long after treatment.
After about a year, you shouldnt have any new changes. If you do see changes in breast size, shape, appearance, or texture after this time, tell your cancer care team about them right away.
Less common side effects in nearby areas
Advanced Stomach Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of advanced stomach cancer are more serious than symptoms of early stage stomach cancer. Because advanced stage stomach cancer has grown and spread, it can also effect nearby organs including:
- The liver
- The large intestine
If stomach cancer has grown to create a blockage within the stomach or the large intestine, you may experience:
- Loss of appetite
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often doesnt cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. The symptoms may not be specific to pancreatic cancer, and they may come and go to begin with. This can make pancreatic cancer hard to diagnose.
These symptoms can be caused by lots of things, and are unlikely to be pancreatic cancer. If you are not feeling well and you have any of the symptoms on this page, speak to your GP to check if there is anything wrong.
Common symptoms include:
When Gerd Progresses To Esophageal Cancer
GERD develops when acid that digests food in the stomach washes up into the esophagus. Often it occurs in people who overeat or who lie down too soon after eating. It may also be caused by defects in the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach or by a condition called hiatal hernia, which is when the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and into the chest.
After someone has had GERD for many years, it can advance to a condition called Barretts esophagus. Barretts is a defensive mechanism of your esophagus, Dr. Molena explains. When the esophagus is bathed in acid all the time, it wants to protect itself, and so the cells in the lining begin to change. These changes can advance to become cancer.
When patients develop Barretts esophagus, their GERD symptoms often disappear. Its typical for patients with esophageal cancer to tell me that they suffered from GERD for years, but then it went away and they stopped taking their GERD medications, which would have actually reduced their cancer risk, Dr. Molena says.
Not everyone with GERD has the typical symptoms, which are heartburn and regurgitation soon after eating. Up to 20% may have different symptoms, such as coughing or chest pain, a sore throat or hoarse voice, or even frequent sinus infections. Its important to talk to your doctor about any of these.
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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Abdomen
If you are getting radiation to your stomach or some part of the abdomen , you may have side effects such as:
Eating or avoiding certain foods can help with some of these problems, so diet planning is an important part of radiation treatment of the stomach or abdomen. Ask your cancer care team about what you can expect, and what medicines you should take to help relieve these problems. Check with your cancer care team about any home remedies or over-the-counter drugs youre thinking about using.
These problems should get better when treatment is over.
Some people feel queasy for a few hours right after radiation therapy. If you have this problem, try not eating for a couple of hours before and after your treatment. You may handle the treatment better on an empty stomach. If the problem doesnt go away, ask your cancer care team about medicines to help prevent and treat nausea. Be sure to take the medicine exactly as you are told to do.
If you notice nausea before your treatment, try eating a bland snack, like toast or crackers, and try to relax as much as possible. See Nausea and Vomiting to get tips to help an upset stomach and learn more about how to manage these side effects.
Persistent Nausea Or Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are also common symptoms of stomach cancer. While there are a plethora of other conditions that cause nausea or vomiting, the persistence of symptoms is generally a sign of a more serious medical condition.
If symptoms are persistent or you vomit up bloodeven if just a small amountmake an appointment to see your healthcare provider right away. Bloody vomit, also known as hematemesis, may be a sign of cancer or a noncancerous condition like a peptic ulcer, severe GERD, or esophageal varices.
Bleeding from the stomach can also give vomit a coffee ground-like appearance. This is more typically seen when stomach cancer is advanced but can also be the result of conditions affecting the esophagus or other parts of the upper gastrointestinal tract.
A gastric hemorrhage is a medical emergency. If you are vomiting up a large amount of bloodmore than a few teaspoonsgo to the emergency room.
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Testing For Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is usually discovered when someone goes to the doctor after noticing some of the symptoms shared above. To confirm the diagnosis, the following tests can be administered:
- Upper endoscopy
- Computed tomography scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan
- Positron emission tomography scan
- Chest X-ray
Radioprotective Drugs For Reducing Side Effects
One way to reduce side effects is by using radioprotective drugs, but these are only used for certain types of radiation given to certain parts of the body. These drugs are given before radiation treatment to protect certain normal tissues in the treatment area. The one most commonly used today is amifostine. This drug may be used in people with head and neck cancer to reduce the mouth problems caused by radiation therapy.
Not all doctors agree on how these drugs should be used in radiation therapy. These drugs have their own side effects, too, so be sure you understand what to look for.
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Treating Colon Cancer Pain
The pain associated with colon cancer and its treatments can be lessened using a variety of therapies and lifestyle interventions. Pain caused by the tumors themselves can be lessened by therapies to remove of reduce the tumors. Pain caused by colon cancer treatments can be treated with:
- Over the counter, prescription pain relievers such as, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen
- Weak opioids
Complimentary therapies to treat colon cancer pain include:
- Acupuncture has shown to be effective for reducing many types of cancer pain.
- Medicinal marijuana has shown to be effective in reducing certain pain symptoms associated with cancer. Marijuana may help reduce pain signaling, inflammation, and anxiety. Dronabinol, a pharmaceutical form of THC, and a man-made cannabinoid drug called nabilone are approved by the FDA to treat some conditions.
- CBD is an extracted marijuana cannabinoid that wont get you high. CBD may help to relieve pain, lower inflammation, and decrease anxiety.
- Reiki can help reduce feelings of pain in some people.
Pancoast Tumor Risk Factors
Pancoast tumors and other lung cancers share many of the same risk factorsa characteristic or behavior that may increase the likelihood of developing a certain condition. Established risk factors for Pancoast tumors include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos or other industrial substances, such as nickel and chromium
- Being male
- Being between the ages of 50 and 60
Pancoast tumors can affect anyone, including individuals who do not have any known risk factors for this cancer. Still, people with one or more risk factors should be particularly mindful to seek care for symptoms and receive appropriate treatment.
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Heart Disease Not The Only Reason For That Feeling Of Angina
Although chest pain is oftenand rightfully associated with heart disease, other medical problems can be causes of chest pain. Anginafeelings of pressure, heaviness, tightness. or pain in the chestoccurs when plaque in the coronary arteries partially blocks blood flow and the heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen and nutrients. Yet the heart isn’t the only organ in the upper abdomen, and chest pain may be due to conditions affecting the esophagus, lungs, gall bladder, or stomach.
Causes Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is caused by changes in the cells of the stomach, although it’s unclear exactly why these changes occur.
Cancer begins with a change in the structure of the DNA in cells, which can affect how they grow. This means cells grow and reproduce uncontrollably, producing a lump of tissue called a tumour.
Left untreated, cancer can spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymphatic system .
Once the cancer reaches your lymphatic system, it’s capable of spreading to other parts of your body, including your blood, bones and organs.
It’s not known what triggers the changes in DNA that lead to stomach cancer and why only a small number of people develop the condition.
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Experiencing Bloating Stomach And Chest Pain
In his teens and twenties, Mike Dibra had a stomach like a tank. He could eat whatever he wanted with no repercussions. But that changed when Mike turned 38.
In my younger days, I could eat all the bad foods chicken wings, spicy foods, onion rings, he recalls. But at 38, my whole life changed.
Simple outings like going to a nice restaurant with his wife or having drinks out with friends became a stressful occasion because he never knew what would cause him pain.
I remember thinking, I cant eat out anymore, plain and simple. But when I started eating at home, the same negative body reactions happened there, too. I was at a loss for what to do.
Day by day, the symptoms got worse. Hed eat a certain food and feel bloated, stomach pains, chest pains and sometimes, the symptoms felt so bad, he thought he was going to die.
One time, I had to go to the ER because the chest pain was so bad. I thought I was having a heart attack, he explains.
At that turning point, Dibra realized he had to see a doctor.
Mike is a classic case of a patient with severe Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, an ongoing condition in which the contents of the stomach come back into the esophagus, says Dr. Kenneth Chi, medical director of the GI Lab and gastroenterologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. I prescribed him medication to relieve his symptoms as a first step. But in Mikes case, his GERD was so severe, the medications werent enough.
Advanced Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer
As the cancer grows larger and spreads beyond the stomach, it may start causing more noticeable symptoms. The signs and symptoms of more advanced stomach cancer may include:
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained and unintentional weight loss
- Belly pain
- Buildup of fluid, or swelling, in the abdominal area
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If Youve Been Hearing Or Feeling Gurgling In Your Upper Stomach Or Chest Cancer As A Cause Is Not Impossible
But the odds of this being benign in nature are piled in your favor even if youre over 50.
We all have gurgling from time to time in our stomach, but usually its in the lower or middle portion.
Gurgling thats higher up, especially at chest level, is more unusual and hence, more worrisome.
After all, the heart is in the chest. Could an imminent heart attack be causing gurgling noises in the chest? Or what about clogged coronary arteries?
The good news is that heart problems do not cause gurgling sounds.
Your Stomach Hurts All The Time
Ocean says that when patients complain of abdominal pain, theyre usually talking about epigastric pain, which refers to the area right under the bottom center of your ribs.
Pain in that location could be caused by the growth of a cancerous mass somewhere in your stomach, although it could also be dozens of other things, like indigestion, diverticulitis, and even kidney stones. Persistent pain pretty much always warrants a doctors visit, so go ahead and make an appointment if youre having recurrent pain.
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Enhancing Outcomes Team Outcomes
The incidence of gastric cancer correlates with socioeconomic status and is clearly dependent on environmental/geographical factors. The management of gastric cancer patient requires the medical expertise of an interprofessional team in addition to a supportive team . Members and patients should discuss the controversy surrounding the benefit of perioperative chemotherapy or radiotherapy alone or combined with competing standards of care and before choosing the best operation for gastric cancer and extension lymph node dissection.
Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer
Most patients with early-stage stomach cancer have no symptoms of the disease. In other cases, stomach cancer patients may mistake their symptoms for a common stomach virus. When the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer are not apparent, the disease may reach advanced stages before a diagnosis is made. Thats why it is important that patients considered high risk talk to their doctors about symptoms that may be signs of a stomach tumor.
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Common Causes Of Rib Pain
Many cases of rib pain are not serious and resolve with either no or minimal treatment. Other times, rib pain is thought to be a medical emergency that requires immediate attention.
One of the most common causes of rib cage pain is a chest injury or a direct blow to the chest due to traffic collisions, falls, or sports-related contact. This can lead to bruised ribs, broken ribs, pulled muscles, and fractured ribs.
Fractured ribs are cracks or breaks in bones designed to protect the upper body. A fractured rib is also known as a break in cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone.
Lets take a look at the many other causes of rib pain.
Is Shoulder Pain A Sign Of Lung Cancer
Sharp shoulder or scapula pain are some of the most common symptoms of a Pancoast tumor, particularly in its early stages. The pain typically develops as the tumor impacts one or more of the nearby structures, such as the:
- Ulnar nerve, which runs from the side of the arm to the wrist
- Branchial plexus, the nerve fibers that run downward from the spine and into the shoulder and arm
- Parietal pleura, the highly sensitive outer layer of the membrane that lines the chest cavity.
- Endothoracic fascia, the fibrous tissue that separates the chest wall from the diaphragm and the pleura
Shoulder pain can be a symptom of other lung cancers besides Pancoast tumors, typically if a lung tumor presses against a particular nerve or if the cancer travels to the tissues or bones near the shoulder joint.
Its important to note that shoulder pain is far more likely to be caused by an orthopedic condition, such as osteoarthritis or a rotator cuff injury, than lung cancer. Nevertheless, shoulder pain that persists for more than a few days should be evaluated by a medical professional. Shoulder discomfort that is related to lung cancer may worsen at night, be present while resting or occur without impacting range of motion. Lung cancer that is not classified as a Pancoast tumor may also cause a hacking cough, shortness of breath and wheezing, among other respiratory symptoms.
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How Is Dyspepsia Treated
Most often, medicine can take care of this condition. If you have a stomach ulcer, it can be cured. You may need to take an acid-blocking medicine. If you have an infection called H. pylori in your stomach, you may also need to take antibiotics.
If your doctor thinks that a medicine you’re taking causes your dyspepsia, you might need to try another one.
A medicine that cuts down on the amount of acid in your stomach might help your pain. This medicine can also help if you have acid reflux disease.
Your doctor might want you to have a procedure called an endoscopy if:
You still have stomach pain after you take a dyspepsia medicine for eight weeks.
Your doctor thinks you are at risk of serious disease.
During an endoscopy, a small tube with a camera inside it is put into your mouth and down into your stomach. Then your doctor can look inside your stomach to try to find a cause for your pain.