What Causes Cancer Of The Stomach
No single cause for stomach cancer has been identified. However, a number of possible important risk factors are known. Some of these include:
- diets rich in salted or smoked foods
- some foods containing nitrites these chemicals can be converted to more harmful compounds by bacteria in the stomach
- lack of vitamin C, fruits and vegetables
- Helicobacter pylori
- family history
Surgery To Remove Your Stomach
You may need to have part or all of your stomach removed.
Surgery to remove part of your stomach is known as a partial or sub-total gastrectomy, and surgery to remove all of your stomach is known as a total gastrectomy. In some cases, your surgeon may remove part of your oesophagus as well as all of your stomach, using a procedure known as an oesophagogastrectomy.
These operations may be carried out using either a large incision in your tummy , or a number of smaller incisions through which surgical tools can be passed . Both of these techniques are carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be unconscious throughout the procedure.
During these operations, your surgeon will also remove the lymph nodes nearest to the cancer. It’s possible that your stomach cancer may have spread to these lymph nodes, and removing them helps prevent the cancer returning.
Difference Between Ulcer And Cancer
Ulcer vs Cancer
Ulcer and Cancer are medically classed as two different illnesses. However, it is possible for an internal ulcer to develop into cancerous cells.
The inside of your body is protected by a protective layer, medically known as the mucous membrane. If this membrane becomes broken or violated the area becomes known as an ulcerated disruption. Your body will ultimately try to mend the membrane, but other factors like bacterial infection often prevent your body from doing this naturally. An ulcer will cause irritation to the surrounding nerves when this occurs, the patient experiences an enormous amount of pain and discomfort. If the membrane lining of the stomach or intestine becomes torn, you will develop a painful and life threatening form of peritonitis.
The most common type of ulcer occurs in the lining of the stomach. The stomach produces a form of acid called hydrochloric an over production of this acid can damage the cell walls causing the membrane to develop an ulcer. Ulcers can also be found in the intestines, known as duodenal ulcer. Ulcers can even form on the outer layer of the skin.
The inner lining of your body is covered in a mucous membrane. If the membrane becomes torn, this is when an ulcer forms.2.
An ulcer will cause an irritation to the surrounding nerve endings, causing the individual to become ill.3.
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Various H Pylori Strains
It is gradually becoming clear that there is a wide variety of H. pylori infections, and that there are some bacterial strains that may well be more likely to cause duodenal ulcer disease, and others that may promote the development of gastric cancer .
Risk factors of gastric cancer and duodenal ulcer. Hp, Helicobacter pylori IL, interleukin TNF, tumor necrosis factor HSP, heat shock protein
Elder et al. proposed that cimetidine is converted to its nitroso analog which structurally resembles other known gastric carcinogens, but Muscroft et al. contended that cimetidine is unlikely to cause gastric cancer, as a result of their finding low concentrations of gastric juice nitrite in patients taking the drug.
Lin et al. reported on the anticancer activity of cimetidine , and noted that the perioperative use of cimetidine in gastric cancer patients could help restore diminished cellular immunity. Milito and Fais , Dillman et al. , and Jiang et al. were in agreement with this opinion, but Langman et al. reported that cimetidine did not show significantly more influence on the survival of patients with gastric cancer than placebo. Therefore, further investigation is required into the effects of cimetidine.
What Are The Main Causes Of Stomach Cancer
There is no single cause of stomach cancer and sometimes it happens without any known risk factors. Lifestyle choices can increase the likelihood of stomach cancer. However, those who experience long-term stomach inflammation from either lifestyle choices or chronic illness are at higher risk.
The common causes of stomach cancer are often related to a medical history that includes:
- H. pylori bacterial infections: A common stomach infection that often causes ulcers.
- Tumors: Other tumors occurring elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stomach polyps: Abnormal tissue growth in the stomach lining.
- Stomach reflex
There are lifestyle changes you can make that may decrease your risk of stomach cancer. These include:
- Having a healthy diet and avoiding
- Processed foods
- Salted foods or increased sodium
Risk factors for stomach cancer that you cannot change, include:
- Your age
- Being male
- Being of Asian, South American or Belarusian descent
- Having a family history of stomach cancer
- Having a history of stomach surgery
- Having pernicious anemia, which is a vitamin deficiency that may be related to either lifestyle or disease
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How Common Are Stomach Ulcers
It’s not known exactly how common stomach ulcers are. They have become much less common since the 1980s because of much more effective treatments. So people with stomach ulcers now usually get better much more quickly.
The term ‘peptic ulcer’ is used to describe ulcers that are caused by too much acid in the stomach. This includes stomach ulcers and also ulcers in the first part of the gut known as the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are less common than duodenal ulcers.
Can Stomach Ulcers Cause Stomach Cancer
Can stomach ulcers cause stomach cancer?
Cancerand ulcer are the two most common conditions that cause disruptions to thestomachs mucosal linings.
Distinction between the two can at times be blurry because of their shared symptoms. Such shared symptoms may include: heartburn, indigestion, bloated feeling, loss of appetite, severe pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting, and blood in the vomitus.
This calls to attention the need to learnthe differences between them.
Differencesbetween Stomach Ulcers and Stomach Cancer
One of the factors that define the differences between the two is how they develop while cancer occurs due to excessive production of cells which ultimately mutate, ulcer occurs when the stomachs digestion acid erodes the stomachs inner linings, exposing the inner tissues to food.
There are also some differences in earlysymptomatic indicators. In this sense, stomach cancer may be characterized bymild upper abdominal discomfort, a feeling of fullness after eating just a smallamount of food, and difficulty in swallowing .
Different late symptomatic indicators may include: fatigue, severe nausea, anaemia, weight loss, and vomiting of blood of dark materials that look like coffee grounds.
Butwhat is the relationship between the two? Can stomach ulcer cause stomachcancer?
Despite the differences between the two,there are instances when stomach ulcers can develop into stomach cancer.
How stomachulcers develop
Whyshould this relationship be a concern?
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What Evidence Shows That H Pylori Infection Causes Non
Epidemiologic studies have shown that individuals infected with H. pylori have an increased risk of gastric adenocarcinoma . The risk increase appears to be restricted to non-cardia gastric cancer. For example, a 2001 combined analysis of 12 casecontrol studies of H. pylori and gastric cancer estimated that the risk of non-cardia gastric cancer was nearly six times higher for H. pylori-infected people than for uninfected people .
Additional evidence for an association between H. pylori infection and the risk of non-cardia gastric cancer comes from prospectivecohort studies such as the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study in Finland . Comparing subjects who developed non-cardia gastric cancer with cancer-free control subjects, the researchers found that H. pylori-infected individuals had a nearly eightfold increased risk for non-cardia gastric cancer .
What Is Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, occurs when normal healthy cells are replaced by growing cancer cells within the stomach lining. The stomach is located directly below the esophagus, the tube that food moves through to get to the intestines after swallowing. The stomach is one part of the digestive tract that digests food and moves nutrients through the gut to the small intestine.
Since this type of cancer is typically slow-growing, it can take years to develop. Stomach cancer often starts when cells that were once healthy begin growing out of control in the mucosa of the stomach lining. This collection of cancerous cells is known as a tumor, and over time these cells spread into other layers of the stomach.
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Who Is More Likely To Get Stomach Cancer
Anyone can get stomach cancer. It’s not always clear what causes it.
You might be more likely to get it if you:
- are over the age of 50
- are a man
- have a long-term infection with Helicobacter pylori read more about the link between H. pylori and stomach cancer on the Cancer Research UK website
- have certain stomach conditions, such as long-term, severe acid reflux, gastritis or a condition called pernicious anaemia, which affects your immune system
- have a brother, sister or parent who had stomach cancer
Many stomach cancers are also linked to lifestyle.
What Tests Are There For A Stomach Ulcer
If your doctor thinks you may have a stomach ulcer, the initial tests will include some blood tests. These tests will help to check whether you have become anaemic because of any bleeding from the ulcer. The blood test will also check to see that your liver and pancreas are working properly.
The main tests that are then used to diagnose a stomach ulcer are as follows:
- A test to detect the H. pylori germ is usually done if you have a stomach ulcer. The H. pylori bacterium can be detected in a sample of stool , or in a ‘breath test’, or from a blood test, or from a biopsy sample taken during a gastroscopy. See the separate leaflet called Helicobacter Pylori for more details.
- Gastroscopy is the test that can confirm a stomach ulcer. Gastroscopy is usually done as an outpatient ‘day case’. You may be given a sedative to help you to relax. In this test, a doctor looks inside your stomach by passing a thin, flexible telescope down your gullet . The doctor will then be able to see any inflammation or ulcers in your stomach.
- Small samples are usually taken of the tissue in and around the ulcer during gastroscopy. These are sent to the laboratory to be looked at under the microscope. This is important because some ulcers are caused by stomach cancer. However, most stomach ulcers are not caused by cancer.
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Can Stomach Cancer Be Prevented
In Japan, where stomach cancer is much more common than in the USA, endoscopy screening of healthy people over forty years of age has been able to detect tiny, early tumors before they cause symptoms. Surgery is much more successful when the cancer is at an early stage and improved survival has been reported.
In Western countries where stomach cancer is less common, screening is unlikely to be as effective and would be extremely expensive. If Helicobacter pylori infection is proven to be important then it may be possible to prevent stomach cancer by treating the infection.
What Treatments Are Available For Stomach Cancer
Surgery to remove the tumor is the only means of curing stomach cancer. A cure can be achieved in 80% or more of patients with tiny early stomach cancers unfortunately, such cases are uncommon outside Japan. For the majority of patients, surgery involves removing part or all of the stomach, depending upon the exact location of the tumor.
Surgery may also be necessary in patients who cannot be cured, as this may be the only means of relieving distressing symptoms such as a blockage of the stomach.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment given after surgery are not very effective in preventing recurrence of the disease or improving survival. Recently, however, better results have been obtained by giving chemotherapy pre-operatively.
For patients with inoperable tumors, it is sometimes possible to control symptoms by laser therapy performed using an endoscope. Similarly, difficulty swallowing or an obstruction between the stomach and duodenum can sometimes be controlled by inserting an expandable metallic tube through the blocked region to hold it open. Some improvement in symptoms may also be obtained with chemotherapy.
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What Is H Pylori
H. pylori is a type of bacteria that infects the lining of the stomach. It is spread through contaminated food and water and normally infects people during childhood.
The infection is no longer common in the UK.
But if you’re worried that you might have an H. pylori infection, speak to your doctor. An infection can be detected with a blood test, breath test or by testing a sample of your poo.
H. pylori infections can be treated with antibiotics and normally, the infection wont cause a person any problems at all. Some people wont even know theyve had it, as it doesnt usually cause any symptoms. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, it’s important to use them as directed by your doctor.
In some cases H. pylori can cause cancer, but this is rare.
Medical History Physical Exam And Tests To Look For Bleeding
When taking your medical history, the doctor will ask about your symptoms and possible risk factors to see if they might suggest stomach cancer or another cause. The physical examcan give your doctor information about possible signs of stomach cancer or other health problems. In particular, the doctor will feel your belly for anything abnormal.
The doctor might order a blood test to look for anemia , which could be caused by the cancer bleeding into the stomach. A test might also be done to look for blood in your stool that can’t be seen by the naked eye, which could also be a sign of bleeding in the stomach.
If your doctor thinks you might have stomach cancer or another type of stomach problem, he or she will likely refer you to a gastroenterologist , who will examine you and might do further testing.
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Diagnosis Of A Stomach Ulcer
Diagnosing a stomach ulcer is done using a range of methods, including:
- Endoscopy a thin flexible tube is threaded down the oesophagus into the stomach under light anaesthesia. The endoscope is fitted with a small camera so the physician can see if there is an ulcer.
- Barium meal a chalky liquid is drunk and an x-ray is performed, showing the stomach lining. These tests are less common nowadays, but may be useful where endoscopy is unavailable.
- Biopsy a small tissue sample is taken during an endoscopy and tested in a laboratory. This biopsy should always be done if a gastric ulcer is found.
- C14 breath test this checks for the presence of H. pylori. The bacteria convert urea into carbon dioxide. The test involves swallowing an amount of radioactive carbon and testing the air exhaled from the lungs. A non-radioactive test can be used for children and pregnant women.
What Are Stomach Cancer Treatments
Many treatments can fight stomach cancer. The one you and your doctor choose will depend on how long you’ve had the disease or how much it has spread in your body, called the stage of your cancer:
Stage 0. This is when the inside lining of your stomach has a group of unhealthy cells that may turn into cancer. Surgery usually cures it. Your doctor may remove part or all of your stomach, as well as nearby lymph nodes — small organs that are part of your body’s germ-fighting system.
Stage I. At this point, you have a tumor in your stomach’s lining, and it may have spread into your lymph nodes. As with stage 0, you’ll likely have surgery to remove part or all of your stomach and nearby lymph nodes. You might also get chemotherapy or chemoradiation. These treatments can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor and afterward to kill any cancer that’s left.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to attack cancer cells. Chemoradiation is chemo plus radiation therapy, which destroys cancer cells with beams of high energy.
Stage II. Cancer has spread into deeper layers of the stomach and maybe into nearby lymph nodes. Surgery to remove part or all of your stomach, as well as nearby lymph nodes, is still the main treatment. You’re very likely to get chemo or chemoradiation beforehand, and you might get one of them after, too.
You usually have surgery to remove your entire stomach, along with chemo or chemoradiation. This can sometimes cure it. If not, it can at least help with symptoms.
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Stomach Ulcers: How Dangerous Are They
Ulcers generally are sores that are slow in healing or keep returning after it has been treated. They can appear both on the inside as well as outside of the body taking different forms, depending on the conditions the body was exposed.
Injuries or diseases, even infections can cause you to have an ulcer. Their appearance depends on whether it is on the outside or inside your body and the cause behind you getting them. While some may not require much attention and go away on their own, others can create severe health problems if you dont treat them in time.