Cancer of stomach is amongst the ten most common cancers in our country. It is amongst the top five most common cancers in Banglore and Chennai as per the hospital based cancer registry of the ICMR.
Risk factors of Stomach Cancer:
There are some precursor conditions which can lead to stomach cancer’s. It is important that we deal with them well – chronic astrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia, pernicious anemia. Consistent stomach pain or acidity should also be put under check and discussed with a doctor.
If you have a family history of stomach cancer, the chances of you suffering from the same increases by 2-3 folds. Moreover if you are a smoker or chew tobacco then your risk increases by 1.5-3 times. Each food items regularly that have high salt and nitrosamines content from fermeting and smoking process are also harmful. Moreover deficiencies in Vit A, C, E, B carotene, selenium and fiber can also increase your stomach cancer risk.
Research has also proved that individuals with Blood Group A are more susceptible to stomach cancer. And lastly, the bottle is the worst, alcohol addiction hits your health the most and increases your risk of developing stomach cancer.
Get your abnormalities screened:
Although the incidence of stomach cancer is low, hence there are not many well developed screening packages for the same. However if you have any of the given symptoms, it is best advised that you opt for an upper GI endoscopy as screening.
The symptoms are:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Ulcer type pain
- Lower limb edema
It should be noted that early Gastric (stomach) cancer is curable and typically produces no symptoms.
Diagnosis and Evaluation:
For prelim diagnosis the doctor can advice an Upper GI and Endoscopy and Biopsy. If the tests suggest something , then the specialist can recommend the following tests to confirm the diagnosis and pin point the location of the cancer – Double contrast Ba Studies, CE/CT Abdomen., PET Scan.
Stomach Cancer Management:
The management and the treatment of stomach cancer depends on what stage the same has been detected.
- Early stage tumors: Stage I and II are normally treated with surgery- subtotal/total gastrectomy with lymphadenectomy, followed by post operative chemoradiotherapy.
- Locally advance tumors: Stage III and IV are treated by neoadjuvant chemotherapy/chemoradiotherapy followed by RADICAL surgery (if feasible) and post operative chemo/chemoradiotherapy.
- Unresectable patients with distant metastasis are treated with palliative chemotherapy and best supportive care.
It is best advised that people be aware of the 10 signs of cancer and resort to early detection and timely treatment for the same.