Stomach Cancer: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Stomach cancer can affect both men and women; however, it is typically more common in men and it typically occurs between the ages of 40 to 60. There are various types of stomach cancer, a few of which are rare. The most common form of stomach cancer starts in glandular cells of the stomach lining, which is where the digestive enzymes and stomach acid are made.
Once the tumor has advanced, it may travel through the bloodstream and effect other organs, including the lungs and liver as well as the bones. A less common form of stomach cancer typically starts in the lymphatic tissue, in the supporting tissues of the digestive system or in the sarcoma (tissue of the stomach muscles).
Signs and Symptoms
In the early stages of stomach cancer, there are either no symptoms or the symptoms are nonspecific. Nonspecific symptoms may include heartburn, indigestion, mild nausea and/or discomfort. As the cancer progresses the symptoms are more distinct and typically include weight loss, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite and blood in the stool. Due to the symptoms often being similar to other conditions, there is usually a poor prognosis and the cancer has usually metastasized to other organs before a positive diagnosis is made.
Cause of Stomach Cancer
Although there is no exact known cause of stomach cancer, there are predisposing factors that may increase the risk, such as high alcohol consumption over long periods of time and smoking. Stomach cancer is often found in those with a family history of stomach cancer as well as those with an A type of blood. It is also thought that the diet plays a role in the risk of stomach cancer, particularly a diet consisting of certain types of food preservation.
Treatment may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or surgery. The recommended treatment is typically based on the progression of the cancer and the overall well-being of the individual. Surgery is often used as a primary treatment, which may consist of partial removal of the stomach. In some cases, laser surgery is an option as way to destroy the tumor and relieve the obstruction. Stomach cancer is often misdiagnosed, because the symptoms mimic a variety of other non-life threatening illnesses. The survival rate dramatically increases for those who receive an early diagnosis, so if you feel you may possibly have any symptoms, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.