Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer
Sometimes cancer can grow in the stomach for a long time before it causes symptoms. In the early stages, stomach cancer can cause the following symptoms:
- Indigestion, stomach discomfort, or heartburn
When the cancer is larger, it can cause these symptoms:
- Blood in your stool or stools that are black in color
- A bloated feeling after eating, even when eating a small amount
- Vomiting after meals
- Stomach pain, especially after meals
- Weakness and fatigue
Many of these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than cancer. However, if you have any of these problems and they dont go away, talk to your doctor. The earlier stomach cancer is found, the better the chances for effective treatment.
How Long Does It Take To Die From Stomach Cancer
Unfortunately, as stomach cancer isnt often picked up until the later stages, the outlook isnt as good as for some other cancers. Of all those with stomach cancer, about: 42 out of 100 people will live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. 19 out of 100 people will live for at least 5 years after diagnosis.
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:
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Stomach Acid Naturally
Could I Get A Second Cancer After Treatment
People whove had stomach cancer can still get other cancers. They do not get second cancers at an increased rate overall, but they do seem to have an increased risk of cancers of the thyroid and small intestine.
Experts do not recommend any additional testing to look for second cancers in people whove had stomach cancer. Still, its important to let your doctor know about any new symptoms or problems you have, because they could be caused by the stomach cancer coming back, or by a new disease or second cancer.
Like other people, survivors of stomach cancer should follow the American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer and stay away from tobacco products, which increase the risk of many types of cancers.
To help maintain good health, survivors should also:
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Stay physically active and limit time spent sitting or lying down.
- Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and that limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods.
- Avoid or limit alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
These steps may also lower the risk of some other health problems.
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.
Don’t Miss: How To Help Anxious Stomach
Treatment For Metastatic Cancer
There are treatments for most types of metastatic cancer. Often, the goal of treating metastatic cancer is to control it by stopping or slowing its growth. Some people can live for years with metastatic cancer that is well controlled. Other treatments may improve the quality of life by relieving symptoms. This type of care is called palliative care. It can be given at any point during treatment for cancer.
The treatment that you may have depends on your type of primary cancer, where it has spread, treatments youve had in the past, and your general health. To learn about treatment options, including clinical trials, find your type of cancer among the PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries for Adult Treatment and Pediatric Treatment.
How Does Cancer Cause Death
Every patient is different, and the way cancer causes death varies. The process can depend on the type of cancer, where it is in the body, and how fast its growing.
For some people, the cancer cant be controlled anymore and spreads to healthy tissues and organs. Cancer cells take up the needed space and nutrients that the healthy organs would use. As a result, the healthy organs can no longer function. For other people, complications from treatment can cause death.
During the final stages of cancer, problems may occur in several parts of the body.
In some cases, the exact cause cant be pinpointed and patients simply decline slowly, becoming weaker and weaker until they succumb to the cancer.
Again, every patient is different and all processes have different stages and rates in which they advance. And some conditions have treatments that can help slow the process or make the patient more comfortable. Its very important to keep having conversations with the patients health care team.
Recommended Reading: How To Have Flat Stomach In 1 Week
Symptoms For Stomach Cancer
The initial symptoms of stomach cancer are vague and easy to mistake for other less serious conditions. They include:
- trapped wind and frequent burping
- feeling very full or bloated after meals
Symptoms of advanced stomach cancer can include:
- blood in your stools, or black stools
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
Treatment For Stomach Cancer
Treatment for stomach cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, your age, medical history, nutritional needs and general health.
You might feel confused or unsure about your treatment options and decisions. Its okay to ask your treatment team to explain the information to you more than once. Its often okay to take some time to think about your decisions.
Surgery is the main treatment for stomach cancer that has not spread to other parts of the body. Surgery aims to remove all of the stomach cancer while keeping as much normal tissue as possible. There are two main types of surgery for stomach cancer:
- Endoscopic resection very early-stage tumours that have not spread from the stomach walls may be removed with a long, flexible tube that is passed down your throat and oesophagus, and into your stomach.
- Gastrectomy this procedure removes all or part of the stomach, leaving as much healthy tissue as possible.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth cancer cells. For stomach cancer, chemotherapy is often given before surgery to shrink large tumours and destroy any cancer cells that may have spread. It may also be used after surgery to reduce the chance of the cancer coming back.
Targeted therapy is a type of drug treatment that attacks specific parts of cancer cells to stop the cancer growing and spreading. Targeted therapy is only available for certain types of stomach cancer.
You May Like: Does Depression Cause Stomach Issues
Eating After Your Gastrectomy
Without your stomach, you arent able to handle regular portions of food and may not even feel hungry. Even if you are not hungry, it is important to remember that nutrition is a vital part of your health.
You will need to eat smaller amounts of food more often six to eight small meals a day. Your doctor or nutritionist may also recommend that you stay upright for some time after eating. Your health care team can help you adjust your diet if you are having problems eating.Some patients may experience a condition called dumping syndrome. When part or all of the stomach is removed, the food that is swallowed quickly passes into the intestine, leading to problems with nausea, diarrhea, sweating and flushing after eating. There are treatments to help with these symptoms.
Since the stomach is no longer there to do the grinding and breakdown of food, it is important that patients take small bites and thoroughly chew the food, Farma said.
Can You Live A Normal Life Without A Stomach
It may be surprising to learn a person can live without a stomach. But the body is able to bypass the stomachs main function of storing and breaking down food to gradually pass to the intestines. Absent a stomach, food consumed in small quantities can move directly from the esophagus to the small intestine.
Also Check: What To Eat To Help Lose Stomach Fat
How Is Coping With My Husband Who Has Terminal Cancer
Really sorry to hear that Im at the other end of that journey my wife died after 3 years of cancer back in October. I dont know your position how long you think you have with your husband, whether he is having treatment, how capable he is etc. but yes it is scary but it doesnt have to be lonely.
How Should Caregivers Talk To Children About A Family Member’s Advanced Cancer
Children deserve to be told the truth about a family members prognosis so they can be prepared if their loved one dies. Its important to answer all of their questions gently and honestly so they dont imagine things that are worse than reality. They need to be reassured that they will be taken care of no matter what happens.
Caregivers need to be prepared to answer tough questions. To do this, they should know what their own feelings and thoughts are about the situation. They need to be able to show children how to hope for the best while preparing for and accepting that their loved one may die.
Read Also: How Do I Stop Stomach Bloating
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.
Can A Person With Hdgc Have Stomach Cancer
Screening isnt usually recommended for people in families with hereditary diffuse gastric cancer . Instead, doctors often recommend that people who have changes in the CDH1 gene that causes this syndrome consider having their stomach removed , because their risk of stomach cancer is very high.
I am feeling so scared today as my husband is due to see the consultant this afternoon to review how things are. Since his discharge from hospital on Friday ,I have really noticed him going downhill. Although he is eating really well, and we seem to have the pain management under control, he is getting weaker.
Don’t Miss: Does Stomach Cancer Cause Pain
Why Choose The University Of Kansas Cancer Center For Stomach Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment
For a diagnosis as crucial as stomach cancer, there are many benefits to trusting our cancer team with your care. Our cancer center is 1 of only 71 NCI-designated cancer centers nationwide, and we have experts for diagnosing and treating stomach cancer. We are a pioneer in new clinical trial research that leads to innovative treatments. In addition, our hospital continues to rank as the best in Kansas City and in Kansas according to U.S. News & World Report.
Help With Your Recovery
- You will have some pain and discomfort for several days after surgery, which will be managed with pain medicines. You may be given tablets or injections, or you may have patient-controlled analgesia , which delivers a measured dose of pain medicine through a drip when you press a button.
- Let your doctor or nurse know if youre in pain so they can adjust your medicines to make you as comfortable as possible. Do not wait until the pain is severe.
- You may have a dressing over the wound. The doctor or nurse will talk to you about how to keep the wound clean and free from infection when you go home.
- After surgery you will have several tubes in your body, which will be removed as you recover. You may have a drip in your arm to give you pain relief and to replace your bodys fluids until you are able to drink and eat again. You may have a tube from your bladder to collect urine in a bag. You may also have a feeding tube.
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Bad Breath Due To Stomach Problems
Survival For All Stages Of Stomach Cancer
For people with stomach cancer in England:
- more than 45 out of 100 people will survive their cancer for 1 year or more
- more than 20 out of 100 people will survive their cancer for 5 years or more
- more than 15 out of 100 people will survive their cancer for 10 years or more
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019Office for National Statistics
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.
What Happens After Your Stomach Is Removed
After surgery, the way you eat and digest food will change, and its important that you carefully follow your doctors recommendations for eating to ensure your body is absorbing much-needed nutrients.
It is important to try to consume as many calories as possible to minimize rapid weight loss in the first few months following surgery, and to take in nutrients that the body needs to aid in the healing process, said Jeffrey M. Farma, MD, FACS, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Eventually the desire to eat and enjoy food will return, he said.
You May Like: Can Miralax Be Taken On An Empty Stomach
What Is Stage 4 Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is cancer that starts in the stomach. Its staged according to how far it has spread at the time of diagnosis.
Stage 4 is also called advanced stomach cancer.
Knowing the stage of stomach cancer helps determine treatment options. It also provides a general overview of what to expect.
Keep reading to learn more about stage 4 stomach cancer, how its treated, and the five-year survival rate.
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
Don’t Miss: How To Lose Stomach Fat But Not Thighs
Symptoms Of Gastric Cancer Include Indigestion And Stomach Discomfort Or Pain
In the early stages of gastric cancer, the following symptoms may occur:
- Indigestion and stomach discomfort.
Check with your doctor if you have any of these problems.
How Is Stomach Cancer Treated
There are several approaches to treating stomach cancer. In many cases, surgery can be avoided.
In the early stages when the cancer is limited to the superficial layers of the stomach, the cancer can be removed through an upper endoscopy performed by a gastroenterologist. In this procedure , the tumor is dissected from the rest of the gastric wall and removed through the mouth.
Once the tumor invades beyond the superficial layers of the stomach, surgery will be required to remove the stomach and connect the esophagus to the small intestines to allow for digestion.
Radiation therapy uses high-powered beams of energy to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to kill the cancer cells. These treatments are generally combined.
There are also several drugs to treat stomach cancer. Treatment depends on how severe the cancer is and is decided upon by a doctor after diagnosis.
You May Like: How To Tighten Stretch Marks On Stomach