What is Gastric Cancer ?
Gastric Cancer is also called stomach cancer, which can develop in any part of the stomach and may spread throughout the stomach and to other organs, particularly the esophagus, small intestine, and can extend through the stomach wall to nearby lymph nodes and organs (e.g., liver, pancreas, colon). It also can metastasize to other parts of the body (e.g., lungs, ovaries, bones).
Causes of Gastric Cancer
Although the cause of gastric cancer is unknown, predisposing factors, such as gastritis with gastric atrophy, increase the risk. Genetic factors also have been implicated. People with type A blood have a 10% increased risk, and the disease occurs more commonly in people with a family history of such cancer. Dietary factors also seem to have an effect. For instance, certain types of food preparation and preservation (especially smoked foods, pickled vegetables, and salted fish and meat) and physical properties of some foods increase the risk. High alcohol consumption and smoking increase the chances of developing gastric cancer.
Signs & Symptoms of Gastric Cancer
Early stomach cancer usually does not cause symptoms (i.e., is asymptomatic). Symptoms usually indicate advanced disease and include the following:
Certain other studies may rule out specific organ metastases. These include computed tomography scans, chest X-rays, liver and bone scans, and liver biopsy.
Surgical removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) is the only curative treatment. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be beneficial. A recent study showed that for many patients, chemotherapy and radiation therapy given after surgery improve the chance of a cure.
For patients in whom surgery is not an option, chemotherapy or radiation can improve symptoms. For some patients, a surgical bypass procedure may provide relief of symptoms.
Although it may not be possible to prevent stomach cancer, the following steps can help reduce your risk:
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