Blood In Your Stool Or Vomit
While far from a sure sign of stomach cancerboth colitis and Crohns disease can cause bloody stoolblood in either your poop or your vomit demands a visit to a GI doctor.
If the bleeding is related to cancer, the blood in your stool is likely to look maroon or tarry black.
It looks that way because its been acted on by your digestive enzymes. If the blood is in your vomit, its more likely to look bright red, and it may have a coarse coffee grounds texture because it has been partially digested.
While blood in your stool can be a sign of other diseases, they all will need a trip to one of the gastric bypass surgery doctors or bariatric specialist.
How Can Stomach Cancer Be Prevented
Stomach cancer can be prevented with the following practices:
- The best way to prevent stomach cancer is by eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in salts and red meats.
- Maintain a healthy weight and practice good exercise habits.
- Avoid smoking, because it increases the risk for stomach cancer and many other cancers.
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 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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What Happens In A Gastrectomy
YouÃ¢ll need to go to the hospital for a gastrectomy. It can take between 4 to 5 hours if the doctor makes a large incision to remove your stomach. Or they can make several small cuts, called laparoscopic gastrectomy. It takes less time, but it isnÃ¢t as widely used.
First, youÃ¢ll get anesthesia so you sleep through the procedure. Once youÃ¢re under, a surgeon will make an incision in your belly. Through this, theyÃ¢ll remove part or all of your stomach, as well as some nearby tissue like your lymph nodes. TheyÃ¢ll test the nodes to make sure the cancer hasnÃ¢t spread. ItÃ¢s key that your doctor remove as much of the cancer as they can.
Depending on the type of procedure you have, the surgeon will decide the best way to rebuild your digestive tract.
Ethnic And Geographic Factors
There is a higher incidence of gastric cancer in non-Caucasian populations. In the United States, the highest incidence is found in the Native American and Asian populations. Both race and sex affect the risk of disease development and subsequent mortality rate. The highest mortality rate based upon ethnic/sex combination is African-American males . However, there are similar overall 5-year survival rates among the different races. The incidence of gastric carcinoma also varies dramatically by geographic location. In contrast to the American population, the societal burden of gastric cancer is much higher in Japan where it is the most common tumor type, accounting for approximately 19% of new tumor diagnoses based upon 2001 cancer registry data . In Japanese men, the incidence rate is 116/100 000 .
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Gastric Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Lining Of The Stomach
The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients in foods that are eaten and helps pass waste material out of the body. Food moves from the throat to the stomach through a hollow, muscular tube called the esophagus. After leaving the stomach, partly-digested food passes into the small intestine and then into the large intestine.
The wall of the stomach is made up of 5 layers of tissue. From the innermost layer to the outermost layer, the layers of the stomach wall are: mucosa, submucosa, muscle, subserosa , and serosa. Gastric cancer begins in the mucosa and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.
Stromal tumors of the stomach begin in supporting connective tissue and are treated differently from gastric cancer. See the PDQ summary on Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Treatment for more information.
For more information about cancers of the stomach, see the following PDQ summaries:
Stages And Grades Of Stomach Cancer
Stages of cancer
The stage of a cancer means how far it has grown in your body. The most common way doctors decide on a stage for stomach cancer is the TNM staging system. The stages are based on the size of the tumour, whether or not lymph nodes are affected, and whether the cancer has spread:
- Stage 1 describes early or limited cancer where tumours are found only in the stomach.
- Stage 23 describes locally advanced cancer where tumours have spread deeper into the layers of the stomach and to nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage 4 describes metastatic or advanced cancer where tumours have spread beyond the stomach to nearby lymph nodes or parts of the body, or to distant lymph nodes and parts of the body.
Grades of cancer
The grade of the cancer means how quickly a cancer might grow. Knowing the grade helps your doctor work out the best treatment plan for you.
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If The Cancer Comes Back
If the cancer does recur at some point, your treatment options will depend on where the cancer is located, what treatments youve had before, and your health. For more information on how recurrent cancer is treated, see Treatment Choices Based on the Extent of Stomach Cancer.
For more general information on recurrence, you may also want to see Understanding Recurrence.
Testing For Other Conditions And Cancers
Individuals who have hereditary diffuse gastric cancer syndrome and Lynch syndrome have a drastically increased risk of stomach cancer. Recognizing these and taking precautions after receiving a doctors advice can reduce the risk.
People with close family members who have had stomach cancer and those who had invasive lobular breast cancer before the age of 50 years might benefit from genetic testing.
If a test shows changes in the CDH1 gene, a doctor may recommend removing the stomach before cancer develops.
Current research is looking into the possible cancer links of chronic Helicobacter pylori infection in the stomach lining.
Early studies suggest that treating H. pylori infection with antibiotics can reduce the risk of stomach cancer, although further research is necessary.
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Smoking And The Digestive System
Smoking can harm your digestive system in a number of ways. Smokers tend to get heartburn and peptic ulcers more often than nonsmokers. Smoking makes those conditions harder to treat. Smoking increases the risk for Crohns disease and gallstones. It also increases the risk of more damage in liver disease. Smoking can also make pancreatitis worse. In addition, smoking is associated with cancer of the digestive organs, including the head and neck, stomach, pancreas, and colon.
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What Is The Stomach
The stomach is the muscular organ that holds and stores food. It is found just below the lower part of the rib cage on the left side. It is connected to the mouth and throat by the esophagus. Using motion and acid, the stomach helps to partially digest food. The partially digested food is then emptied into the small intestine. The small intestine helps to absorb nutrients from the partially digested food.
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Greater Amount Of Inhaled Smoke
One reason hookah smoke may be more toxic than cigarette smoke is that more smoke is inhaled. In a typical session of water-pipe smoking , 200 puffs are inhaled versus the 20 puffs ordinarily inhaled in smoking a single cigarette. This translates into a typical hookah session resulting in the inhalation of 90,000 milliliters of smoke as compared to the 500 to 600 ml of smoke inhaled with a cigarette.
What Is Gastric Mucosa
Gastric MALT lymphoma is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is characterized by the slow multiplication of B lymphocytes, a type of immune cell, in the stomach lining. This cancer represents approximately 12 percent of the extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma that occurs among men and approximately 18 percent of extranodal non-Hodgkin lymphoma among women . During the period 19992003, the annual incidence of gastric MALT lymphoma in the United States was about one case for every 100,000 persons in the population.
Normally, the lining of the stomach lacks lymphoid tissue, but development of this tissue is often stimulated in response to colonization of the lining by H. pylori . Only in rare cases does this tissue give rise to MALT lymphoma. However, nearly all patients with gastric MALT lymphoma show signs of H. pylori infection, and the risk of developing this tumor is more than six times higher in infected people than in uninfected people .
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After Gastric Cancer Has Been Diagnosed Tests Are Done To Find Out If Cancer Cells Have Spread Within The Stomach Or To Other Parts Of The Body
The process used to find out if cancer has spread within the stomach or to otherparts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from thestaging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to knowthe stage in order to plan treatment.
The following tests andprocedures may be used in the staging process:
Surgery To Ease Your Symptoms
If your stomach cancer has spread beyond your stomach, it may not be possible to remove it using surgery.
However, if your stomach has been significantly affected by cancer it can cause a blockage, which prevents food from being properly digested. A blocked stomach can cause symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting and feeling very full after eating.
If your stomach is blocked, there are a few options:
- stenting a stent is a plastic or wire mesh tube inserted through the oesophagus using an endoscope under local anaesthetic after being inserted, the stent will be expanded and open up the stomach
- partial or total gastrectomy to remove the blockage and improve your symptoms
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Patients May Want To Think About Taking Part In A Clinical Trial
For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Clinical trials are part of the cancer research process. Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.
Many of today’s standard treatments for cancer are based on earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new treatment.
Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.
What Are The Signs Of Gastric Cancer
It is not common to have symptoms of stomach cancer until the cancer is quite advanced. If you do develop symptoms, you may have:
- Weight loss can be related to poor appetite or early satiety .
- Discomfort and pain in the belly.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Enlarged belly from fluid buildup.
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the underarms, belly button, and clavicle .
The symptoms of stomach cancer can be the symptoms seen in many other illnesses such as peptic ulcer disease and gastritis. Often, treatment for these conditions will be tried first, as these are much more common than gastric cancer. If your symptoms continue, it is important to talk with your provider about further testing.
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Stomach Cancer And Medications
Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen, can lower the risk for getting some kinds of stomach cancer. However, they can cause gastrointestinal bleeding. Many doctors view aspirin or NSAIDs as an added benefit in preventing cancer if you are taking them for other conditions, such as arthritis. But they do not recommend taking them only to reduce your cancer risk.
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Surgery For Stomach Cancer
Surgery is often part of the treatment for stomach cancer if it can be done. There are different kinds of surgery. The type thats best for you depends on how big the cancer is and where it is in the stomach. Surgery might be done for different reasons. If the cancer is small enough, it might be done to try to remove all of it. If the cancer cant be removed, surgery might be done to help prevent or relieve symptoms. Ask your doctor what kind of surgery you will have and what to expect.
Side effects of surgery
Any type of surgery can have risks and side effects, such as bleeding or infections. If part or all of your stomach is removed, it can affect the way you eat. Be sure to ask the doctor what you can expect. If you have problems, let your doctors know. Doctors who treat people with stomach cancer should be able to help you with any problems that come up.
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You’re Losing Weight Without Trying
Weight loss is a sign of stomach cancer partly because of the loss of appetite that often occurs, but it can also independently be a warning sign of disease, says Oceanand it’s usually one of the first signs that something’s off especially in a disease like stomach cancer that may not have other noticeable symptoms.
Significant weight loss takes hard work, so if youre shedding pounds without even trying, dont ignore it.
What Actually Is Bloating
Bloating occurs when theres a buildup of excessive amounts of gas and air, explains Niket Sonpal, M.D., an NYC-based internist and gastroenterologist. Bloating is the term used to describe when the stomach feels distended or enlarged after eating or drinking, he tells InStyle. It can also develop when a person eats too much, or if they have a sensitivity to a type of food.
Bloating is also a very common occurrence during your time of the month and can include abdominal distention, cramping, fullness, and the inability to suck your stomach in, says New York-based gynecologist and Midol partner Dr. Alyssa Dweck, M.D.
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The Following Stages Are Used For Gastric Cancer:
In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the inside lining of the mucosa of the stomach wall. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.
In stage I, cancer has formed in the inside lining of the mucosa of the stomach wall. Stage I is divided into stage IA and stage IB, depending on where the cancer has spread.
- Stage IA: Cancer may have spread into the submucosa of the stomach wall.
- Stage IB: Cancer:
- may have spread into the submucosa of the stomach wall and is found in 1 or 2 lymph nodes near the tumor or
- has spread to the muscle layer of the stomach wall.
Stage II gastric cancer is divided into stage IIA and stage IIB, depending on where the cancer has spread.
- Stage IIA: Cancer:
- has spread to the subserosa of the stomach wall or
- has spread to the muscle layer of the stomach wall and is found in 1 or 2 lymph nodes near the tumor or
- may have spread to the submucosa of the stomach wall and is found in 3 to 6 lymph nodes near the tumor.
There Are Three Ways That Cancer Spreads In The Body
- Tissue. The cancer spreads from where it began by growing into nearby areas.
- Lymph system. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the lymph system. The cancer travels through the lymph vessels to other parts of the body.
- Blood. The cancer spreads from where it began by getting into the blood. The cancer travels through the blood vessels to other parts of the body.
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