Stomach Cancer Treatment

Stomach cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the stomach and is characterized by the growth of an abnormal malignant mass or tumor in the stomach. If left untreated, the cancer can metastasize (spread) to nearby organs via the stomach lining or through the bloodstream. Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy is used for treatment depending on the size and type of the cancer. Stomach cancer can be of the following types:-

  • Adenocarcinoma- refers to the cancer that forms in the innermost lining of the stomach called mucosa.
  • Lymphoma- is a cancer of the lymph nodes which is found on the walls of the stomach.
  • Carcinoid tumor- a slow growing cancer found in the hormone making cells of the stomach.
Know More About Surgery

Stomach or gastric cancer can present with the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of fullness during meals and loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating post meals
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Blood in the stool and/or vomit
  • Difficulty swallowing ( dysphagia )
  • Gastric ulcers

The doctor may start with a medical exam and patient history. If the possibility of cancer is apparent, the patient might be recommended a few tests to confirm the diagnosis.  The patient might be asked to take different tests like a gastroscopic exam which involves looking into the stomach through a camera attached to a catheter. Imaging tests such as a CT and PET scan, MRI, upper gastrointestinal (GI) series, and an endoscopic ultrasound may also be required. The doctor might also perform a biopsy to check whether the mass is cancerous or benign. The biopsy would also help to confirm what type of cancer it is if found cancerous.

Stomach cancer can be treated with the help of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and medications. However, chemotherapy and radiation do not always get rid of the cancer completely and might only be helpful in shrinking the size of the tumor or relieving the symptoms. A surgery is therefore essential to completely remove the tumor and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body. Depending on the growth and size of the tumor, the surgeon may remove a part of the stomach (subtotal gastrectomy) or the entire stomach (total gastrectomy). Chemotherapy and radiation maybe administered along with the surgery. 

Treatment for cancer can have certain side-effects. Surgery poses certain risks such as infection, bleeding, numbness and bruising at the incision site. Due to the total or partial removal of the stomach, the patient may experience problems like diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain and so on. As a result of the chemotherapy and surgery, the patient may feel weak and tired. Fatigue, hair loss, loss of appetite and other such symptoms may also be experienced as a side-effect of the chemotherapy drugs.

The patient may need to stay in the hospital for at least a week post surgery. It may take 3-6 months for complete recovery. Follow-ups with the doctor and testing every 3-6 months would be required to make sure that the cancer does not recur. Patients who have had a surgical removal of the stomach (total or subtotal), would need vitamin supplements and B12 injections regularly.

Stomach Cancer Treatment from best Hospitals and Doctors in Mumbai Region

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Stomach Cancer Treatment

Stomach cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the stomach and is characterized by the growth of an abnormal malignant mass or tumor in the stomach. If left untreated, the cancer can metastasize (spread) to nearby organs via the stomach lining or through the bloodstream. Surgery, radiation or chemotherapy is used for treatment depending on the size and type of the cancer. Stomach cancer can be of the following types:-

  • Adenocarcinoma- refers to the cancer that forms in the innermost lining of the stomach called mucosa.
  • Lymphoma- is a cancer of the lymph nodes which is found on the walls of the stomach.
  • Carcinoid tumor- a slow growing cancer found in the hormone making cells of the stomach.

Symptoms

Stomach or gastric cancer can present with the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of fullness during meals and loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating post meals
  • Pain in the stomach
  • Blood in the stool and/or vomit
  • Difficulty swallowing ( dysphagia )
  • Gastric ulcers

Diagnosis

The doctor may start with a medical exam and patient history. If the possibility of cancer is apparent, the patient might be recommended a few tests to confirm the diagnosis.  The patient might be asked to take different tests like a gastroscopic exam which involves looking into the stomach through a camera attached to a catheter. Imaging tests such as a CT and PET scan, MRI, upper gastrointestinal (GI) series, and an endoscopic ultrasound may also be required. The doctor might also perform a biopsy to check whether the mass is cancerous or benign. The biopsy would also help to confirm what type of cancer it is if found cancerous.

Treatment

Stomach cancer can be treated with the help of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and medications. However, chemotherapy and radiation do not always get rid of the cancer completely and might only be helpful in shrinking the size of the tumor or relieving the symptoms. A surgery is therefore essential to completely remove the tumor and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body. Depending on the growth and size of the tumor, the surgeon may remove a part of the stomach (subtotal gastrectomy) or the entire stomach (total gastrectomy). Chemotherapy and radiation maybe administered along with the surgery. 

Risks

Treatment for cancer can have certain side-effects. Surgery poses certain risks such as infection, bleeding, numbness and bruising at the incision site. Due to the total or partial removal of the stomach, the patient may experience problems like diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain and so on. As a result of the chemotherapy and surgery, the patient may feel weak and tired. Fatigue, hair loss, loss of appetite and other such symptoms may also be experienced as a side-effect of the chemotherapy drugs.

After Procedure

The patient may need to stay in the hospital for at least a week post surgery. It may take 3-6 months for complete recovery. Follow-ups with the doctor and testing every 3-6 months would be required to make sure that the cancer does not recur. Patients who have had a surgical removal of the stomach (total or subtotal), would need vitamin supplements and B12 injections regularly.