What is Stomach Cancer Treatment?
BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery), 10 years of experience
What is the meaning of Stomach Cancer Treatment?
Stomach cancer treatments are the various modes of treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy to treat stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer.
Stomach cancer is a condition in which there is a growth of cancerous cells within the stomach lining.
Stomach cancer can be fatal. It is proven to be more deadly than other types of cancer. This is because stomach cancer does not show any signs or symptoms; therefore, it is difficult to diagnose and treat.
Let us tell you in detail about stomach cancer and stomach cancer treatment through today’s article.
- What are the causes of Stomach Cancer?
- What are the risk factors for Stomach Cancer?
- What are the symptoms of Stomach Cancer?
- How to diagnose Stomach Cancer?
- What are the different Stomach Cancer Treatments?
- What are the complications of Stomach Cancer?
- How to prevent Stomach Cancer?
- What is the cost of Stomach Cancer Treatment in India?
What are the causes of Stomach Cancer?
- The exact cause of stomach cancer is not known, but the condition of stomach cancer arises when normal cells within the upper digestive system become cancerous.
- The main cause of stomach cancer is thought to be gene mutation (change) in the stomach cells, causing the cells to grow rapidly and form a tumor.
What are the risk factors for Stomach Cancer?
There may be some risk factors for the development of stomach cancer which include:
- Peptic ulcer (an ulcer or a sore that develops in the lining of the stomach, food pipe, or small intestine)
- Tumor in some parts of the digestive system
- Bacterial infection
- Severe deficiency of Vitamin B12
- Abdominal (stomach) bloating
- Lymphoma cancer (a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is the body’s disease-fighting system) ( Know more about- What is Lymphoma ? Types, Symptoms, Treatment, Cost)
Other risk factors for stomach cancer include.
- Lack of exercise
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Eating salty foods
- Family history of cancer
- Being overweight or underweight
- To be over 50 years of age.
What are the symptoms of Stomach Cancer?
Symptoms of stomach cancer may vary from one person to another. Some of the symptoms of stomach cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Feeling full after eating a small meal
- Indigestion. ( Know more about- What is Liver Transplant Surgery? Purpose, Procedure, Aftercare, Cost )
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in stools ( Know more about- What is Piles Surgery? Causes, Tests, Procedure, Cost )
- Unintentional weight loss
How to diagnose Stomach Cancer?
- Early diagnosis of stomach cancer is necessary. Although the initial symptoms of stomach cancer are not clear, therefore, its treatment may be difficult.
- To check for any irregularity in the abdomen, the doctor first conducts a physical examination. In this, he may ask the patient some questions about the past medical history and the family history of the patient.
Some of the following tests can be done to diagnose stomach cancer-
- Blood tests: These tests are done to check for any signs of an underlying infection.
- Biopsy: In this procedure, a small sample of any suspicious tissue growth is excised and sent to the laboratory for further investigations.
- Upper endoscopy: A thin tube with a camera on one end, known as an endoscope, is passed down the throat into the stomach to check for any signs of cancer.
- Laparoscopy: This test helps to confirm if the cancer is still only confined to the stomach or not.
- Genetic testing: This test is done to confirm or rule out the diagnosis of a genetic condition that may increase the chances of developing stomach cancer.
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan: This is an imaging test in which radio waves and a computer are used to obtain clear images of the internal organs of the body like the stomach.
- Chest x-ray: A chest x-ray helps to show if cancer has spread to the lungs.
- Barium swallow: A barium swallow is a special type of x-ray in which barium is used in a swallowing test to make certain areas of the body more clear in the x-ray.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan: This test helps in the determination of the extent of cancer in the body.
What are the different Stomach Cancer Treatments?
There are different forms of treatment for stomach cancer depending on the stage, location, and aggressiveness of cancer.
The various forms of stomach cancer treatments are:
- The goal of the surgery is the removal of all of the cancer, along with some healthy tissue around it.
- The different surgical procedures that can be done to treat stomach cancer include:
- Small early-stage tumors which are limited to the stomach lining can be removed by special tools that can be passed through an endoscope. These procedures are known as endoscopic mucosal resection and endoscopic submucosal resection.
- Subtotal gastrectomy is a procedure of removing a part of the stomach that is affected by cancer and some healthy tissue around it. This procedure is done if the cancerous part of the stomach is located in a part of the stomach near the small intestine.
- Total gastrectomy is a procedure of removal of the entire stomach and some of the surrounding tissue. The food pipe (esophagus) is connected to the small intestine directly to allow food to move through the digestive system. Total gastrectomy is done when the stomach cancer affects the body of the stomach or is located in the gastroesophageal junction (where the stomach meets the food pipe).
- A surgery may be performed by the surgeon to relieve the symptoms associated with an advanced stage of stomach cancer.
- The surgeon may surgically remove the lymph nodes in the stomach to test them for cancer.
- The treatment of stomach cancer by certain medications is known as chemotherapy.
- The chemotherapy medications travel throughout the body to kill the cancer cells that have spread outside the stomach.
- Chemotherapy can be done before surgery to shrink the cancer cells so that they can be removed easily.
- Chemotherapy can also be done post-surgery to kill any cancer cells that may still be remaining after the surgery.
- Chemotherapy is often used together with radiation therapy to treat stomach cancer.
- Chemotherapy can be used along with targeted drug therapy in advanced cases of stomach cancer.
- Radiation therapy:
- High-powered beams of energy such as photons and x-rays are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.
- These energy beams are emitted from a machine that revolves around a patient lying down.
- Radiation therapy can be used before surgery to shrink the cancer cells so that they can be removed easily.
- Radiation therapy can be used post-surgery to remove any cancer cells that may be remaining after the surgery.
- Radiation therapy is often used together with chemotherapy.
- In advanced cases of stomach cancer when surgery cannot help in the removal of cancer, radiation therapy is useful in relieving the symptoms of growing cancer such as pain and bleeding.
- Targeted drug therapy:
- Targeted drug therapy is used to block specific weaknesses that may be present within the cancer cells, causing the cancer cells to die.
- Targeted drug therapy is usually used in combination with chemotherapy in cases of advanced stomach cancer, or cancer that recurs after treatment.
- The doctor tests the cancer cells to check which targeted drugs work best for a patient.
- Immunotherapy is a form of drug treatment that helps the immune system in fighting cancer.
- The body has a natural disease-fighting immune system. But cancer cells produce proteins which make it hard for the body’s immune system to recognize the cancer cells as being dangerous, and therefore the immune system does not attack the cancer cells. Immunotherapy works by interference with this process.
- Immunotherapy is used in advanced cases of stomach cancer when cancer spreads to other parts of the body, or in recurrent cases of stomach cancer.
- Palliative or supportive care:
- Specialized medical care that helps in relieving pain and other symptoms associated with a serious disease is known as supportive or palliative care.
- Palliative care is provided by a group of doctors, nurses, and other trained professionals for improving the quality of life of a cancer patient. The cancer patient may feel better with supportive care and may live longer.
- Palliative care can be given alongside other treatment procedures for cancer treatment.
What are the complications of Stomach Cancer?
Stomach cancer, when left untreated, can lead to the following complications:
- Stomach cancer can spread to the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, or the bones
- Gastrointestinal bleeding (bleeding in the food pipe, stomach, or initial part of the small intestine)
- Small bowel obstruction (a blockage in the small intestine)
- Gastric perforation (a hole formation through the stomach, large bowel, or the small intestine) ( Know more about- Stomach Bloating: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Home remedies )
How to prevent Stomach Cancer?
There is no definite way to prevent stomach cancer, but you can adopt the following methods to reduce the risk of cancer.
- Exercise regularly every day.
- Avoid smoking and consuming tobacco and alcohol.
- Avoid harmful substances.
- Eat a low-fat diet.
- Include foods containing fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C in the diet. ( Know more about- What is Vitamin A Deficiency? Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention )
- Keep your weight balanced.
If affected by stomach cancer, then avoid taking these foods.
- Do not consume red meat and refined grains.
- Avoid salty, spicy, or smoked foods.
- Quit alcohol and tobacco addiction.
- Crude vegetable oil, cocoa beans, tree nuts, peanuts, figs, and other dry foods increase the risk of cancer and should be avoided.
- Spicy foods contain aflatoxins that increase the risk of cancer. So, eat milder foods instead.
What is the cost of Stomach Cancer Treatment in India?
The total cost of stomach cancer treatment in India can range from around INR 2,00,000 to INR 5,00,000. However, the cost of the procedure may vary across different hospitals. There are many big hospitals and specialized doctors in India for stomach cancer treatment. The cost varies across different hospitals.
If you are coming from abroad, in addition to the expenses of stomach cancer treatment, there will be a cost of staying in a hotel, cost of living, and cost of local travel. Apart from this, after the procedure, the patient is kept in hospital for 5 days and in the hotel for 15 days for recovery. So, the total cost of stomach cancer treatment in India comes to be around INR 3,00,000 to INR 6,00,000.
We hope that we could answer all your questions regarding stomach cancer treatment through this article.
If you want to get more information and treatment of stomach cancer, you can contact a Surgical Oncologist/ Cancer Specialist.
We only aim to give you information through this article. We do not recommend medication, treatment in any way. Only a qualified doctor can give you good advice and the correct treatment plan.