What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Where is the cancer located?
- What stage of cancer do I have? What does this mean for my prognosis?
- What treatments are available to me?
- What are the benefits of this treatment? Potential risks?
- What other treatment options are available?
- How will my cancer diagnosis and treatment impact my everyday life?
- Should I get a second opinion?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Stomach cancer isnt always preventable, but it may be treatable if caught early. Depending on your cancer diagnosis, your provider may recommend surgery to remove cancer cells or tumors. They may suggest a combination of treatments that can kill or shrink the cancer cells. Ultimately, your prognosis depends on multiple factors you can discuss with your provider. Dont hesitate to ask about treatment options, including their benefits and risks. Seek your providers guidance on what your cancer diagnosis means for you.
Causes Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is caused by changes in the cells of the stomach, although it’s unclear exactly why these changes occur.
Cancer begins with a change in the structure of the DNA in cells, which can affect how they grow. This means cells grow and reproduce uncontrollably, producing a lump of tissue called a tumour.
Left untreated, cancer can spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymphatic system .
Once the cancer reaches your lymphatic system, it’s capable of spreading to other parts of your body, including your blood, bones and organs.
It’s not known what triggers the changes in DNA that lead to stomach cancer and why only a small number of people develop the condition.
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.
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Where Should I Go For Stomach Cancer Treatment
Patients with stomach cancer tend to have better outcomes when they receive treatment at a reputable cancer center with experienced physicians, like Moffitt Cancer Center. Because Moffitt is a high-volume cancer center, our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program regularly treats patients with uncommon and complex forms of stomach cancer, and our unique level of experience can make all the difference in helping our patients achieve positive outcomes and an improved quality of life. Moffitt patients also benefit from the expertise of a multispecialty team that focuses exclusively on cancers of the GI tract and comprises:
- Medical oncologists
- And other professionals
Does Stomach Cancer Affect Men And Women Differently
It is important to look for signs of stomach cancer in adults over the age of 55. However, it most commonly affects those in their 60s or 70s. While it is crucial to be aware of the signs of stomach cancer in females, men are more likely to develop stomach cancer. In 2020, 16,980 men and 10,620 women are projected to be diagnosed with the disease. Men have a lifetime risk of 1 in 95 of developing stomach cancer, while women have a 1 in 154 risk. The signs of stomach cancer in men are typically no different than in women.
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Laser Therapy Or Stent
Laser therapy can be used to destroy tumors, stop bleeding, or alleviate a blockage in the stomach.
This can sometimes be accomplished without surgery.
The doctor inserts a long, flexible tube called an endoscope down the throat and into the stomach to deliver the laser beam. This is also called endoscopic tumor ablation.
Hollow tubes called stents can sometimes help. By placing a stent between the stomach and esophagus or between the stomach and small intestine, food will be able to pass through unobstructed.
Stages Of Stomach Cancer
About 90 to 95 percent of all stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas that start in the mucosa, the innermost stomach lining.
Intestinal adenocarcinomas have a better prognosis and may respond to targeted therapy. Diffuse adenocarcinomas spread more quickly and are difficult to treat but are less common.
Most stomach cancers start in the innermost layer of the stomach wall called the mucosa. Doctors use the TNM system to stage stomach cancer.
T stands for tumor, N stands for node and M stands for metastasis. Doctors evaluate how deeply the main tumor has spread , if the tumor has reached lymph nodes and if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body . They then stage each tumor from Stage 0 to Stage IV based on the TNM system.
Stage IIA cancers have three possible conditions.
They may have:
- Spread into the submucosa and three to six lymph nodes, or
- Spread into the stomach muscle layer and one or two lymph nodes, or
- Spread into the subserosa with no lymph node involvement.
They may have:
- Spread into the submucosa and seven to 15 nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread to the muscle layer and three to six nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread to the subserosa and to one or two nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread to the serosa and spread to one to six nearby lymph nodes.
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Types Of Stomach Cancer
This page was updated on May 23, 2022.
Stomach cancer happens when cells start behaving abnormally, growing and proliferating uncontrollably. The stomach, a hollow organ that collects food and breaks it down, has five different partsfrom the top of the stomach, which connects to the esophagus, to the bottom of the stomach, which connects to the small intestine:
- Cardia, the area nearest to the esophagus
- Fundus, the upper stomach
- Corpus, the main body of the stomach
- Antrum, where food gets broken down by stomach acid
- Pylorus, which connects to the small intestine
There are also five layers of tissue and muscle that surround the stomach and make up the stomach wall. Going from inner to outer, the layers are:
Stomach cancer progressively spreads through these different layers. Establishing how far within the stomach wall the cancer has spread is a part of the staging process, which determines how serious the cancer is and how best to treat it.
The mucosa layer, which produces stomach acid, is where most stomach cancers begin.
A less common type of stomach cancer is caused by gastrointestinal stromal tumors , which start in immature cells called interstitial cells of Cajal.
Other rare stomach cancer types, such as lymphoma and neuroendocrine tumors, start in different cell types in the stomach.
Stage Iiia Iiib And Iiic
Stage IIIA tumors have four possible conditions.
They may have:
- Spread to the muscle wall and seven to 15 nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread to the subserosa and three to six lymph nodes, or
- Spread to the serosa and one to six nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread to nearby organs including liver, colon, spleen, pancreas abdominal wall, adrenal glands, small intestine, back of the abdomen or kidney.
Stage IIIB tumors have three possible conditions.
They may have:
- Spread to the submucosa or muscle layer and to 16 or more nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread to the subserosa or serosa and seven to 15 lymph nodes, or
- Spread out of the stomach to nearby organs and to one to six nearby lymph nodes.
Stage IIIC tumors have two possible conditions.
They may have:
- Spread to the subserosa or serosa and 16 or more nearby lymph nodes, or
- Spread from the stomach to nearby organs and seven or more nearby lymph nodes.
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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.
Age Diet And Stomach Disease Can Affect The Risk Of Developing Gastric Cancer
Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for gastric cancer include the following:
- Having any of the following medical conditions:
- Eating a diet high in salted, smoked foods and low in fruits and vegetables.
- Eating foods that have not been prepared or stored properly.
- Being older or male.
- Having a mother, father, sister, or brother who has had stomach cancer.
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Etiology Of Stomach Cancer
Risk factors for stomach cancer include the following:
). There are case reports of colorectal cancer in CDH1 mutation carriers. Data are insufficient to recommend colon cancer screening of all carriers or their families however, if colon cancer has been diagnosed in a carrier, their family members should have colon cancer screening beginning at age 40 or at an age 10 years younger than when the youngest family member was diagnosed .
Total Gastrectomy Or Oesophagogastrectomy
If your cancer is in the middle or at the top of your stomach, you may need to have a total gastrectomy. If the cancer is close to the end of your oesophagus, where it meets your stomach, you may need to have an oesophagogastrectomy.
If you have a total gastrectomy, the end of your gullet will be joined to the top of your jejunum . If you have an oesophagogastrectomy, the remaining part of your gullet will be joined to your jejunum.
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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.
usually not curable, but its certainly treatable.
The goal of treatment is to ease symptoms and control the cancers growth. Your doctor will recommend therapies based on your age and overall health, including any other health conditions you may have. Your options also depend on specific characteristics of the cancer.
Treatment for cancer usually involves a combination of therapies. Your treatment plan can be adjusted based on how well its working. Tell your doctor if you have new symptoms along the way so they can be factored in.
Some treatments for stage 4 stomach cancer are:
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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Our Pancreatic Cancer Research
The GI Cancer Institute is currently conducting three studies into pancreatic cancer treatment:
- DYNAMIC-Pancreas is investigating circulating tumour DNA analysis. It aims to demonstrate that monitoring ctDNA levels in the bloodstream and using them to inform treatment for people with pancreatic cancer could reduce cancer recurrence.
- MASTERPLAN aims to investigate whether a highly targeted form of radiotherapy, stereotactic body radiotherapy in addition to chemotherapy is a better treatment than chemotherapy alone for people with pancreatic cancer.
- RANDOMS is a nutritional substudy of the MASTERPLAN clinical trial, and will discover critical information on how to measure the impact of nutrition on survival outcomes for patients. It will examine whether a fast and simple nutritional test called PGSGA can match the results provided by a complex and expensive CT body composition scan for pancreatic cancer patients.
Symptoms And Signs Of Stomach Cancer
Initial symptoms of stomach cancer are nonspecific, often consisting of dyspepsia suggestive of peptic ulcer. Patients and physicians alike tend to dismiss symptoms or treat the patient for acid disease. Later, early satiety may occur if the cancer obstructs the pyloric region or if the stomach becomes nondistensible secondary to linitis plastica. Dysphagia Dysphagia Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing. The condition results from impeded transport of liquids, solids, or both from the pharynx to the stomach. Dysphagia should not be confused with globus sensation… read more may result if cancer in the cardiac region of the stomach obstructs the esophageal outlet. Loss of weight or strength, usually resulting from dietary restriction, is common. Massive hematemesis or melena is uncommon, but secondary anemia may follow occult blood loss. Occasionally, the first symptoms are caused by metastasis .
Physical findings may be unremarkable or limited to heme-positive stools. Late in the course, abnormalities include an epigastric mass umbilical, left supraclavicular, or left axillary lymph nodes hepatomegaly and an ovarian or rectal mass. Pulmonary, central nervous system, and bone lesions may occur.
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Common Early Signs Of Stomach Cancer
More than 7 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer each year, while 3 in 100,000 die from the disease. About 0.8% of all men and women will be diagnosed with stomach cancer at some point in their life. As of 2017, 116,525 in the United States were living with stomach cancer.
In 2020, the National Cancer Institute estimates 27,600 new cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed, which is roughly 1.5% of all new cancer cases. The NCI also projects 11,010 deaths from stomach cancer in 2020, which is 1.8% of all cancer deaths.
Because stomach cancer affects men and women differently, and can be difficult to diagnose, it is crucial to understand its unique traits and the illnesses it can mimic. This article covers the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer, the different disease stages, primary causes, warning signs and how to manage it.
Certain Factors Affect Prognosis And Treatment Options
The prognosis and treatment options depend on the following:
- The stage of the cancer .
- The patients general health.
When gastric cancer is found very early, there is a better chance of recovery. Gastric cancer is often in an advanced stage when it is diagnosed. At later stages, gastric cancer can be treated but rarely can be cured. Taking part in one of the clinical trials being done to improve treatment should be considered. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI website.
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Survival Rates Are Based On Research
Survival rates are based on studies with a large number of patients, so an averaged survival rate cannot predict any one person’s prognosis.
A five-year-survival rate of 70% may sound dismal, but the truth is that you very well may live a whole lot longer than five years. Some people are even cured of their stomach cancer. This is most likely to occur when the cancer is found at an early stage. Unfortunately, stomach cancer is often not found until it’s more advanced.
Survival numbers also vary according to cancer stage. For example, a large retrospective multicenter Italian study of patients with early gastric cancer published in 2006 reported long-term survival after surgical resection of 92%, 82%, 73%, and 27%, respectively, for patients with 0, 1 to 3, 4 to 6, and > 6 positive nodes. In recent years, the survival of gastric cancer has improved mainly for stage I-III.
The five-year survival rate for stomach cancer is simply a statisticit’s meant to guide you and your healthcare provider so you have an idea of what to expect, but it’s not supposed to be taken as a hard-and-fast rule.
A Closer Look At The Top 5 Deadliest Cancers
Surviving cancer depends on the type you have, the stage of the cancer when you’re diagnosed, and the treatment you receive.
The American Cancer Society estimated 1.9 million new cases of cancer and 608,570 cancer deaths among Americans for 2021.
This article takes a closer look at the five deadliest cancers.
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