How do I know if I have stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the lining of the stomach. The stomach is a muscular sac located in the upper abdomen, between the esophagus and small intestine. It is responsible for storing and breaking down food before it passes into the small intestine for further digestion.

Stomach cancer is relatively rare in developed countries, but it is still a significant health problem worldwide. It is more common in men than women and is more prevalent in older adults. Risk factors for stomach cancer include smoking, a diet high in smoked, pickled, or salted foods, a family history of stomach cancer, and certain infections such as H. pylori.

Symptoms of stomach cancer can include abdominal pain, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and a feeling of fullness in the stomach after eating a small meal. However, many of these symptoms are also common in other conditions, so stomach cancer can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages.

Diagnosis of stomach cancer is typically made through a combination of methods including an endoscopy, in which a thin tube with a light and camera is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach, as well as imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI.

Treatment for stomach cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The type of treatment recommended will depend on the stage and location of the cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient.

Surgery is the most common treatment for stomach cancer, and it may involve removing part or all of the stomach, as well as nearby lymph nodes. Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells, while chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells.

Prevention of stomach cancer includes maintaining a healthy diet, not smoking, and receiving regular screenings if you are at high risk. Early detection and treatment are key to improving the chances of survival for those with stomach cancer.

In conclusion, stomach cancer is a serious condition that can be difficult to diagnose and treat. However, by understanding the risk factors and symptoms, and by receiving regular screenings if you are at high risk, you can increase your chances of catching it early and improving your chances of survival.  If you receive a stomach cancer diagnosis, Clearview Cancer Institute will be here to help.