Stomach Cancer Causes: Family History Heredity And Gene Mutations
People who have several first-degree relatives who have had stomach cancer are more likely to get stomach cancer. In addition, the risk of developing stomach cancer is higher if you have a family history of certain hereditary conditions and gene mutations. These include:
- Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer: This cancer of the lower digestive tract is linked to inherited gene mutations.
- Familial adenomatous polyposis: This inherited disease is characterized by early onset of polyps throughout the large intestine.
- BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations: Certain hereditary gene mutations have been linked to the development of certain types of cancer, including stomach cancer.
- Type A blood: People with type A blood are at a higher risk of getting stomach cancer. Researchers do not yet know why this is true.
We have an increasingly sophisticated understanding of genetic and hereditary diseases. If you have a family history of any of these conditions, talk to your doctor about genetic counseling and genetic testing.
Development Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancers tend to develop slowly over many years. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes often occur in the inner lining of the stomach. These early changes rarely cause symptoms, so they often go undetected.
Cancers starting in different sections of the stomach can cause different symptoms and tend to have different outcomes. The cancers location can also affect treatment options. For example, cancers that start at or grow into the GE junction are usually staged and treated the same as cancers of the esophagus.
Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer In Cats
The symptoms of stomach cancer in cats include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and loss of appetite.
The symptoms associated with stomach cancer in cats may vary, based on the severity of disease and the precise location of the stomach tumor.
Signs that may be observed with stomach cancer include:
- Loss of appetite or anorexia
If your cat is losing blood from a stomach tumor, you might also notice signs of anemia. Your cat may develop pale gums, in addition to a dramatic decrease in energy levels.
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Stomach Cancer Prevention In Dogs
There are a number of things that you can do to lower the risk of your dog developing cancer.
1. Do not allow your dog to spend lots of time in the sun. It is well known that the radiation from the sun is a cause of skin cancer in dogs. If your dog is out in the sun then use a SPF 15 on your dogs nose, ears and face. If your pet has lots of hair then this will offer some protection from the sun.
2. Dont feed your dog scraps of food from the table or food meant for humans. Feed your pooch a natural diet with healthy ingredients speak to your vet about the best dog food. You can supplement your dogs diet with health greens including broccoli .
3. Speak to your vet about vitamin supplements including vitamin E and C.
4. Just like in humans smoke can cause lung cancer so dont expose your pet to second hand smoke.
5. Dont expose your pet to insecticides or pesticides so if you have just treated the garden or weeds do not allow your pooch to sniff or play around the treated area.
6. It is also thought that spaying and neutering a dog can reduce the chance of your pooch developing the disease. Dogs that are spayed prior to their first heat cycle are far less likley to develop breast cancer. Also a dog that has been castrated is not going to develop testicular cancer . The chances of a dog developing perianal tumors is reduced in a dog that has been castrated.
Removing The Stomach And Part Of The Food Pipe
This operation is for cancer that is in the area where the stomach joins the food pipe . The surgeon removes your stomach and part of your food pipe. This is an oesophagogastrectomy.
Your surgeon keeps the lowest third of your stomach and makes it into a tube. They rejoin this tube with the remaining part of your food pipe.
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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.
Inflammation Gastritis And Ulcer
Helicobacter pylori harms the stomach and linings by several mechanisms. The ammonia produced to regulate pH is toxic to epithelial cells, as are biochemicals produced by H. pylori such as , vacuolating cytotoxin A , and certain . Cytotoxin associated gene CagA can also cause inflammation and is potentially a carcinogen.
Colonization of the stomach by H. pylori can result in chronic , an inflammation of the stomach lining, at the site of infection. Helicobacter cysteine-rich proteins , particularly HcpA , are known to trigger an immune response, causing inflammation.H. pylori has been shown to increase the levels of COX2 in H. pylori positive gastritis.Chronic gastritis is likely to underlie H. pylori-related diseases.
Ulcers in the stomach and duodenum result when the consequences of inflammation allow stomach acid and the digestive enzyme to overwhelm the mechanisms that protect the stomach and duodenal . The location of colonization of H. pylori, which affects the location of the ulcer, depends on the acidity of the stomach.In people producing large amounts of acid, H. pylori colonizes near the to avoid the acid-secreting at the . In people producing normal or reduced amounts of acid, H. pylori can also colonize the rest of the stomach.
When H. pylori colonizes other areas of the stomach, the inflammatory response can result in of the stomach lining and eventually ulcers in the stomach. This also may increase the risk of stomach cancer.
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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.
After A Diagnosis Of Stomach Cancer
After being diagnosed with a stomach cancer, you may feel shocked, upset, anxious or confused. These are normal responses. A diagnosis of a stomach or oesophageal cancer affects each person differently. For most it will be a difficult time, however some people manage to continue with their normal daily activities.
You may find it helpful to talk about your treatment options with your doctors, family and friends. Ask questions and seek as much information as you feel you need. It is up to you as to how involved you want to be in making decisions about your treatment.
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How Might H Pylori Infection Decrease The Risk Of Some Cancers But Increase The Risk Of Other Cancers
Although it is not known for certain how H. pylori infection increases the risk of non-cardia gastric cancer, some researchers speculate that the long-term presence of an inflammatory response predisposes cells in the stomach lining to become cancerous. This idea is supported by the finding that increased expression of a single cytokine in the stomach of transgenic mice causes sporadic gastric inflammation and cancer . The increased cell turnover resulting from ongoing cellular damage could increase the likelihood that cells will develop harmful mutations.
One hypothesis that may explain reduced risks of gastric cardia cancer and esophageal adenocarcinoma in H. pylori-infected individuals relates to the decline in stomach acidity that is often seen after decades of H. pyloricolonization. This decline would reduce acid reflux into the esophagus, a major risk factor for adenocarcinomas affecting the upper stomach and esophagus.
What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Stomach Cancer
In the early stages of stomach cancer, when the tumor is still small, there are usually no symptoms. However, patients at a more advanced stage usually complain of indigestion and upper abdominal pain.
Other likely symptoms include:
- gastrointestinal bleeding
- difficulty swallowing usually caused by a blockage between the esophagus and stomach
Occasionally, the condition only presents itself when the disease is advanced with evidence of a tumor spreading to the liver or abdominal cavity. This may cause a build-up of fluid in the abdomen.
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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
Tests For Stomach Cancer
Your doctor may do some tests to check for stomach cancer:
- Endoscopy a doctor passes a long, flexible tube with a light and small camera on the end into your mouth, down your throat and oesophagus, and into your stomach and small bowel. This allows the doctor to look inside your digestive tract to examine the lining.
- Biopsy during an endoscopy if the doctor sees any suspicious-looking areas they may remove a small amount of tissue from the stomach lining, known as a biopsy, a pathologist will then examine the tissue under a microscope to check for signs of disease.
- Endoscopic ultrasound a doctor passes an endoscope with an ultrasound probe on the end into your mouth, down your throat and oesophagus, and into your stomach and small bowel. The ultrasound probe then uses sound waves to create a picture of your stomach.
If these tests show you have stomach cancer you will then have some of the following tests to check your general health and to find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of your body:
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How Do You Know If You Have H Pylori
If your doctor thinks you may have an H. pylori infection, some tests can tell you for sure:
- Endoscopy: The best way to test for H. pylori infection is to check your stomach lining. Your doctor will give you medicine to relax you. Then they’ll send a long, thin tube with a camera on the end down your throat and into your stomach. They’ll look for signs of infection and take a small sample of tissue from the lining. The sample will be tested in a lab to see if there’s an infection.
- Blood tests: A simple blood test can show signs of H. pylori. But that doesn’t mean the infection is active and causing problems or symptoms.
- Stool tests: Your doctor can test your poop for proteins that are a sign of H. pylori. This test can identify an active infection and can also be used to check that an infection has cleared after treatment.
- Urea breath tests: A test where you will be asked to breathe into a balloon like bag, drink a liquid solution and then 15 minutes later, breathe again into a balloon like bag. This test can be used to check if you have a current infection or if an infection has cleared after treatment.”
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.
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Expectations Of Gastric Cancer
The prognosis for gastric cancer is variable. Tumours in the lower stomach are cured more often than those in the higher stomach — gastric cardia or gastroesophageal junction. How far the tumour invades the stomach wall and whether lymph nodes are involved when the patient is diagnosed affect the chances of a cure. When the tumour has spread outside the stomach, a cure is not possible and treatment is designed to improve symptoms .
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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Removing Part Of The Stomach
Your surgeon may remove up to two thirds of your stomach if the cancer is at the lower end of your stomach. This is called a subtotal gastrectomy. How much the surgeon removes depends on the position of the cancer. The surgeon will also remove part of the sheet of tissue that holds the stomach in place .
Youll have a smaller stomach afterwards. The valve between your food pipe and stomach will still be there.
Am I At Risk For Gastric Cancer
Each year, about 26,560 new cases of gastric cancer are diagnosed in the United States. The average age at diagnosis is 68. The number of people being diagnosed with gastric cancer has gone down greatly since the 1930s. The exact reason is not known. One theory is that the use of refrigeration has led to less use of nitrites, “smoking” of foods, and other such forms of food preservation.
Diets that consist of heavily salted, smoked, or pickled foods can increase your risk of gastric cancer. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber can reduce your risk of gastric cancer. Tobacco use and heavy alcohol use can also increase the risk of gastric cancers. It also appears that people with blood type A are at higher risk for gastric cancer for an unknown reason.
There does appear to be a genetic link in some cases of gastric cancer. Some genetic diseases that can be linked to a higher risk of gastric cancer include
- Peutz Jeghers syndrome.
- Juvenile polyposis syndrome .
- Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer is an inherited genetic abnormality that is associated with an increased risk of developing gastric cancer. HDGC is caused by a mutation on the CDH1 gene. It is not known how many families carry the CDH1 mutation. Families that have had several cases of gastric cancer, particularly if they are the diffuse type, should consider genetic testing and screening options.
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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 .