Are There Different Types Of Stomach Cancer
- Lymphomas: Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma can develop within the stomach. Helicobacter pylori is believed to play a role in the development of mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue.
- Leiomyosarcoma: Leiomyosarcoma is cancer of the smooth muscle of the stomach.
- Stromal tumor : Tumors from the tissue under cells that line the inside of the stomach and between these cells and the smooth muscle of the stomach.
Advanced Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer
As the cancer grows larger and spreads beyond the stomach, it may start causing more noticeable symptoms. The signs and symptoms of more advanced stomach cancer may include:
- Blood in the stool
- Unexplained and unintentional weight loss
- Belly pain
- Buildup of fluid, or swelling, in the abdominal area
What Is Gastric Cancer
Normally, cells in the body will grow and divide to replace old or damaged cells. This growth is highly regulated, and once enough cells are produced to replace the old ones, normal cells will stop dividing. Tumors occur when there is an error in this regulation and cells continue to grow uncontrolled.
Gastric cancer, or stomach cancer, is cancer of the stomach. Gastric cancer occurs when cells in the lining of the stomach grow uncontrollably and form tumors that can invade normal tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Cancers are described by the types of cells from which they arise. About 90-95% of gastric cancers arise from the lining of the stomach, called adenocarcinoma. There are other cancers that can arise in the stomach, including gastrointestinal stromal tumors , lymphoma, and carcinoid tumors, among others.
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What Is Abdominal Cancer
Abdominal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when there is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the abdomen, the area between the lower chest and the groin. The abdomen consists of many organs, including the stomach, intestines, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, esophagus, and numerous blood vessels. Abdominal cancer is a general term for a variety of cancers.
Common forms of abdominal cancers include:
- Colorectal cancer
Rare forms of abdominal cancer include:
- Adrenocortical cancer
- Primary peritoneal cancer
Normally, cells in the abdomen that are old or damaged will stop dividing and die. These cells are replaced by healthy young cells. Abdominal cancer occurs when old or damaged cells divide and multiply uncontrollably. This generally results in the development of a malignant mass of tissue in the specific organ of the abdomen.If left untreated, abdominal cancer cells can continue to multiply and spread to other parts of the bodya process called metastasis. As abdominal cancer progresses, it interferes with vital processes and functions of the organ where it began and the organs where it has spread, such as the lymphatic system, lungs, and other abdominal organs.
Abdominal cancer can be fatal, especially if undetected and untreated. Prognosis of abdominal cancer varies depending on the type of cancer and the stage of advancement your age, medical history, and coexisting conditions or diseases and other factors.
What Causes Stomach Cancer
A cancerous tumour starts from one abnormal cell. The exact reason why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. It is thought that something damages or alters certain genes in the cell. This makes the cell abnormal and multiply out of control.
Many people develop stomach cancer for no apparent reason. However, certain risk factors increase the chance that stomach cancer may develop. These include:
- Ageing. Stomach cancer is more common in older people. Most cases are in people over the age of 55.
- Having a type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia, which causes a lack of vitamin B12, can very slightly increase your risk of stomach cancer.
- Diet is probably a factor:
- Countries such as Japan, where people eat a lot of salt, and pickled and smoked foods, have a high rate of stomach cancer.
- Eating a lot of fruit and green vegetables can reduce the risk.
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Common Early Signs Of Stomach Cancer
More than 7 in 100,000 people are diagnosed with 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.
Rare Types Of Stomach Cancer
Lymphomas are cancers of the immune system tissue that may start anywhere lymph tissues are found, including in the stomach. However, lymphomas in the stomach are rare, accounting for about 4 percent of all stomach cancers.
MALT lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that typically occurs in the stomach. The cancer starts in lymph tissue that lines the stomach.
Most people who develop MALT lymphoma of the stomach have had a bacterial infection, especially one caused by helicobacter pylori , or a viral infection. This cancer tends to be slow-growing , and is usually detected in the early stages. If its caused by an H. pylori infection, the cancer is often treated with antibiotics.
If the cancer doesnt respond to antibiotics, other treatment options include:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GISTs, are a rare type of stomach cancer that forms in a special cell found in the lining of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal . Under a microscope, GIST cells look similar to muscle or nerve cells. These tumors may develop throughout the digestive tract, but 60 percent to 70 percent occur in the stomach. In the United States, 4,000 to 6,000 new GIST cases throughout the GI tract are diagnosed per year, according to the ACS.
GISTs in the stomach may cause:
- Abdominal pain
- Poor appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
Diagnosis may involve:
The three types of gastric carcinoid tumors are:
Treatment options include:
- Stomach pain
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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.
Diagnosis Of Stomach Cancer
If your doctor thinks you may have stomach cancer, you will be referred for further tests. The main test is an endoscopy . The doctor will use a thin, flexible tube with a camera , which passes into the mouth, down the throat and oesophagus into the stomach in order to look at the digestive tract.
If any suspicious-looking areas are detected, a small amount of tissue from the stomach lining may be removed and examined under a microscope. Less commonly used is an endoscopic ultrasound where the endoscope has an ultrasound probe at the end.
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Physical Emotional And Social Effects Of Cancer
Cancer and its treatment cause physical symptoms and side effects, as well as emotional, social, and financial effects. Managing all of these effects is called palliative care or supportive care. It is an important part of your care that is included along with treatments intended to slow, stop, or eliminate the cancer.
Palliative care focuses on improving how you feel during treatment by managing symptoms and supporting patients and their families with other, non-medical needs. Any person, regardless of age or type and stage of cancer, may receive this type of care. And it often works best when it is started right after a cancer diagnosis. People who receive palliative care along with treatment for the cancer often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report that they are more satisfied with treatment.
Palliative treatments vary widely and often include medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional and spiritual support, and other therapies. You may also receive palliative treatments similar to those meant to get rid of the cancer, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation therapy.
Before treatment begins, talk with your doctor about the goals of each treatment in the treatment plan. You should also talk about the possible side effects of the specific treatment plan and palliative care options.
Other Types Of Stomach Cancer
There are some less common and rare types of stomach cancer which include:
- Lymphomas. These are cancers which arise from the lymphatic tissue within the wall of the stomach.
- Sarcomas. These are cancers which arise from the muscle or connective tissue within the wall of the stomach.
- Carcinoid cancers. These are cancers which arise from cells in the stomach lining which make hormones.
The rest of this leaflet only discusses adenocarcinoma of the stomach.
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Continue Learning About Gastrointestinal Cancer
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Gastric Cancer Signs And Symptoms
Stomach cancer is often diagnosed in the late stages because it does not typically produce signs and symptoms in the early stages. When gastric cancer does produce signs or symptoms, a patient with the illness may experience fatigue, unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, vomiting, bloody or black stools, heartburn, and indigestion. Feeling bloated after eating may also occur in people who have stomach cancer.
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Initial Assessment And Gastroscopy
If a doctor suspects that you may have stomach cancer, he or she may examine you. The examination is often normal, especially if the cancer is at an early stage. Therefore, a gastroscopy is usually arranged. A gastroscope is a thin, flexible, telescope. It is passed through the mouth, into the gullet and down towards the stomach and the first part of the small intestine . The endoscope contains fibre-optic channels which allow light to shine down so the doctor or nurse can see inside your stomach and duodenum. for more details.)
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.
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Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Painful burning sensations in the chest that are caused by gastroesophageal reflux is known as . Reflux is the backflow of juices from the stomach into the . Heartburn has different triggers, including certain foods, medications, , and stress. These triggers are different for each individual. or GERD is a chronic condition that can lead to more serious complications like . Treatment options are available to treat the symptoms and the condition, but there is no cure for the disease. Symptoms include burping, abdominal and stomach bloating, along with pain and discomfort. Heavy meals, lying down or bending over after eating should be avoided to help prevent reflux from occurring. The stomach bloating experienced with reflux is intense and will remain until the food is digested all the way.
Postmortem bloating occurs in cadavers, due to the formation of gases by action and of the internal tissues of the abdomen and the inside of the intestines.
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.
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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.
Your Appetite Quickly Dries Up
When you sat down to eat, you were hungry. However, your appetite fades after a few nibbles, and the food becomes unappealing. Dr. Sarpel refers to this as early satiety, and says its another symptom that could suggest stomach cancer . Especially if youre not used to feeling full so soon, she advises, thats something you shouldnt disregard.
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Screening Tests Have Risks
Decisions about screening tests can be difficult. Not all screening tests are helpful and most have risks. Before having any screening test, you may want to discuss the test with your doctor. It is important to know the risks of the test and whether it has been proven to reduce the risk of dying from cancer.
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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