Tests That Examine The Stomach And Esophagus Are Used To Diagnose Gastric Cancer
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- Physical exam and health history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patients health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Blood chemistry studies: A procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual amount of a substance can be a sign of disease.
- Complete blood count : A procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following:
- The amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.
- The portion of the sample made up of red blood cells.
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.
What Are The Signs That Death Is Approaching And What Can The Caregiver Do To Make The Person Comfortable During This Time
Certain signs and symptoms can help a caregiver anticipate when death is near. They are described below, along with suggestions for managing them. However, each persons experience at the end of life is different. What may happen to one person may not happen for another. Also, the presence of one or more of these symptoms doesnt necessarily mean that the patient is close to death. A member of the health care team can give family members and caregivers more information about what to expect.
Withdrawal from friends and family:
- People often focus inward during the last weeks of life. This doesnt necessarily mean that patients are angry or depressed or that they dont love their caregivers. It could be caused by decreased oxygen to the brain, decreased blood flow, or mental preparation for dying.
- They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy, such as favorite TV shows, friends, or pets.
- Caregivers can let the patient know they are there for support. The person may be aware and able to hear, even if they are unable to respond. Experts advise that giving them permission to let go may be helpful. If they do feel like talking, they may want to reminisce about joys and sorrows, or tie up loose ends.
The dying process:
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Is It Painful To Die Of Esophageal Cancer
If a person is given medications to control physical pain and is provided fluids and nutrients through a tube to bypass swallowing problems, then the end of life with esophageal cancer doesnt have to be a painful or scary experience.
But because the medications used to treat pain are often quite strong, an individual may be sleepy much of the time or experience confusion.
These responses are exacerbated by the slowing down of the bodys functions. For example, the heart rate slows, meaning less oxygenated blood reaches the brain. A person may slip in and out of consciousness and have trouble remembering or focusing.
Changes in bodily functions also lead to shallower breathing and a loss of bladder and bowel control.
Watching a loved one go through these changes can be emotionally painful for others, but for the individual with cancer, many of these physical changes will occur without notice.
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 .
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Having Another Type Of Cancer
For men, the risk of getting stomach cancer is increased after having prostate cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer or testicular cancer. For women, the risk of developing stomach cancer increases after having ovarian cancer, breast cancer or cervical cancer.
Prognosis And Survival For Stomach Cancer
If you have stomach cancer, you may have questions about your prognosis. A prognosis is the doctors best estimate of how cancer will affect someone and how it will respond to treatment. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with your medical history, the type, stage and characteristics of your cancer, the treatments chosen and the response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together. They both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.
The following are prognostic factors for stomach cancer.
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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.
Sexuality And Stomach Cancer
Having stomach cancer and treatment can change the way you feel about yourself, other people, relationships and sex. These changes can be very upsetting and hard to talk about. Doctors and nurses are very understanding and can give you support. You can ask for a referral to a counsellor or therapist who specialises in body image, sex and relationships.
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What Causes Stomach Cancer
Scientists donât know exactly what makes cancer cells start growing in the stomach. But they do know a few things that can raise your risk for the disease. One of them is infection with a common bacteria, H. pylori, which causes ulcers. Inflammation in your gut called gastritis, a certain type of long-lasting anemia called pernicious anemia, and growths in your stomach called polyps also can make you more likely to get cancer.
Other things that seem to play a role in raising the risk include:
Cellular Classification Of Gastric Cancer
The two major types of gastric adenocarcinoma include the following:
Intestinal adenocarcinomas are well differentiated, and the cells tend to arrange themselves in tubular or glandular structures. The terms tubular, papillary, and mucinous are assigned to the various types of intestinal adenocarcinomas. Rarely, adenosquamous cancers can occur.
Diffuse adenocarcinomas are undifferentiated or poorly differentiated, and they lack a gland formation. Clinically, diffuse adenocarcinomas can give rise to infiltration of the gastric wall .
Some tumors can have mixed features of intestinal and diffuse types.
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Be Truly Committed To Your Treatment
Whatever clinical trial or treatment plan you and your healthcare provider agree on, stay committed to it and give it your all. A number of people drop out of their treatment protocol for one reason or another. Some people forget to take their medications every day or don’t take precautions to prevent infections while on chemotherapy. You have to believe in yourself, your healthcare provider, and your treatment. If any of this isn’t working, talk to your healthcare provider or a cancer counselor about your feelings. Keep in mind that many side effects can be managed, but in order to address these symptoms, your healthcare provider needs to know they are bothering you.
If you smoke, quit. Some people feel that once they have cancer, it doesn’t really matter anymore. But it does. Check out these reasons to quit smoking after a diagnosis of cancer.
Cytotoxics And Targeted Therapies
are a relatively new class of cancer drugs that can overcome many of the issues seen with the use of cytotoxics. They are divided into two groups: small molecule and antibodies. The massive toxicity seen with the use of cytotoxics is due to the lack of cell specificity of the drugs. They will kill any rapidly dividing cell, tumor or normal. Targeted therapies are designed to affect cellular proteins or processes that are utilised by the cancer cells. This allows a high dose to cancer tissues with a relatively low dose to other tissues. Although the are often less severe than that seen of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, life-threatening effects can occur. Initially, the targeted therapeutics were supposed to be solely selective for one protein. Now it is clear that there is often a range of protein targets that the drug can bind. An example target for targeted therapy is the BCR-ABL1 protein produced from the , a genetic lesion found commonly in and in some patients with . This has enzyme activity that can be inhibited by , a drug.
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
Dna Sequencing And Genomics
, one of the most fundamental technologies developed to study genetics, allows researchers to determine the sequence of nucleotides in DNA fragments. The technique of , developed in 1977 by a team led by , is still routinely used to sequence DNA fragments. Using this technology, researchers have been able to study the molecular sequences associated with many human diseases.
As sequencing has become less expensive, researchers have of many organisms using a process called , which utilizes computational tools to stitch together sequences from many different fragments. These technologies were used to sequence the in the completed in 2003. New technologies are dramatically lowering the cost of DNA sequencing, with many researchers hoping to bring the cost of resequencing a human genome down to a thousand dollars.
came about due to the ever-increasing demand for low-cost sequencing. These sequencing technologies allow the production of potentially millions of sequences concurrently. The large amount of sequence data available has created the subfield of , research that uses computational tools to search for and analyze patterns in the full genomes of organisms. Genomics can also be considered a subfield of , which uses computational approaches to analyze large sets of . A common problem to these fields of research is how to manage and share data that deals with human subject and .
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How Long Is Recovery After Stomach Cancer Surgery
There are several surgical procedures that might be used to treat stomach cancer, depending on the size, location and spread of the tumor. The surgery that is used, along with the patients age and overall health, will impact recovery time. For example, some patients undergo surgery to remove the entire stomach a procedure that will likely require a longer recovery period and more complex postoperative care than a partial gastrectomy, which involves removing only a portion of the stomach and can sometimes be performed endoscopically.
With this said, any type of stomach cancer surgery is a significant and complex operation. Many patients who undergo a partial gastrectomy remain in the hospital for around three to five days following the procedure, while a total gastrectomy may require an inpatient stay of a week or so. Once discharged, most patients need to rest as much as possible and avoid strenuous activities for several weeks.
Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for stomach cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the stomach.
- Regional: The cancer has spread outside the stomach to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as the liver.
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What Needs To Be Done After The Person Has Died
After the person has died, there is no need to hurry with arrangements. Family members and caregivers may wish to sit with the body, to talk, or to pray. When the family is ready, the following steps can be taken.
- Place the body on its back with one pillow under the head. If necessary, caregivers or family members may wish to put the persons dentures or other artificial parts in place.
- If the person is in a hospice program, follow the guidelines provided by the program. A caregiver or family member can request a hospice nurse to verify the death.
- Contact the appropriate authorities in accordance with local regulations. Contact the persons doctor and funeral home.
- When the patient’s family members are ready, call other family members, friends, and clergy.
- Provide or obtain emotional support for family members and friends to cope with their loss.
Stage I Gastric Cancer
Standard treatment options for stage I gastric cancer include the following:
Regional lymphadenectomy is recommended with all of the above procedures. Splenectomy is not routinely performed.
Surgical resection including regional lymphadenectomy is the treatment ofchoice for patients with stage I gastric cancer. If the lesion is not inthe cardioesophageal junction and does not diffusely involve the stomach,subtotal gastrectomy is the procedure of choice, because it has been demonstratedto provide equivalent survival when compared with total gastrectomy and isassociated with decreased morbidity. When thelesion involves the cardia, proximal subtotal gastrectomy or total gastrectomy may be performed with curativeintent. If the lesion diffusely involves the stomach, total gastrectomy isrequired. At a minimum, surgical resection includes greater and lessercurvature perigastric regional lymph nodes. In patients with stage Igastric cancer, perigastric lymph nodes may contain cancer.
Endoscopic mucosal resection
Postoperative chemoradiation therapy
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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.