Symptoms and treatment of stomach cancer
Gastric cancer or stomach cancer or gastric carcinoma starts in the stomach. The stomach is basically divided into five layers. Stomach cancer can occur in any of these layers. Learn more about stomach cancer symptoms and treatment here.
Stomach cancer symptoms and treatment
The stomach is composed of five layers. Starting the innermost layer which is called the mucosa, Stomach acid and digestive juices are produced in this mucosa layer. The next layer is called the sub mucosa, and is surrounded by the muscularis which is a layer of muscle that stirs and mixes the stomach contents. The next two layers are the subserosa and the serosa and form the covering for the stomach. The serosa is the last and the outermost layer of the stomach. Most of the stomach cancers begin in the mucosa. Stomach cancer can develop deeper and contaminate the other layers.
Symptoms of stomach cancer
There are many symptoms associated with stomach cancer. Abdominal pain is one of the most general gastric cancer symptoms and is usually what makes patient to look for medical attention. Abdominal pain can vary from constant mild uneasiness to severe pain due to stomach cancer. Pain and discomfort usually happen in the upper abdomen area. Constant abdominal pain, inspite of where it occurs, it needs to be examined by your doctor. Nausea and vomiting are the symptoms of stomach cancer that can be common among patients with gastric cancer. Loss of Appetite or not feeling like eating for a longer period should be reported to your doctor; loss of appetite is a very unclear symptom and is associated to many health conditions.
Abdominal bloating is also a general symptom of stomach cancer, particularly after food. Changes in bowel habits associated to stomach cancer comprise constipation and diarrhea. Fatigue that persists for more than few days can point to a stomach cancer; fatigue is often related to anemia caused by blood loss in the stool or from vomiting.
Losing weight without dieting is a health concern that is required to be brought to your doctor’s notice. If you have lost about 5 – 6 percent of your normal body weight during the course of six months or less without dieting or doing exercise, call your doctor. Involuntary weight loss can be the result of gastric cancer.
In stomach cancer the symptoms generally remains unclear in its beginning stage. Regrettably by the time the symptoms of stomach cancer are noticeable the cancer already have started affecting other organs as well. The earlier stomach cancer is identified, enhanced are your chances of recovery.
Diagnosis of stomach cancer
The diagnosis of stomach cancer includes Blood tests to test for anemia and liver function. Stomach examination is done by special endoscope to look inside the stomach. Biopsy is done where a sample of tissue is taken and sent to a laboratory for diagnosis. Barium meal X-ray where a patient has to swallow a liquid containing a special dye that shows up on X-rays. Scans may comprise ultrasound, MRI or CT scans. These are done to verify the stomach, liver, and nearby lymphatic system to see if the cancer has spread.
Treatment of stomach cancer
Treatment depends on the type of stomach cancer and its spread. The main treatments for stomach cancer are Surgery including the use of lasers involves eradicating the affected tissue. In Chemotherapy anti-cancer drugs are administered to destroy cancer cells. Radiotherapy or treatment by radiation is also used to destroy cancer cells.