Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, accounts for more than one per cent of all new cancers discovered in the United States each year. It is one of the rare types of cancer in the country. What are the gastric cancer symptoms? How is the disease caused? What is its treatment? And several other questions must be revolving in your mind at the moment, but we are here to answer them all.
Without any further ado, let’s find out what exactly is the disease all about? Gastric cancer is a type of cancer in which malignant cells grow abnormally. As the name suggests, gastric cancer begins in the lining of the stomach. Also, this type of cancer is regarded as one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose as people generally do not witness any significant symptoms in the early stages. It typically goes undiagnosed until after it spreads to different parts of the body.
You would find it quite absurd to know that gastric cancer generally forms in several parts of the world in the main part of the stomach. However, in the United States, gastric cancer is more likely to affect the gastroesophageal junction (the area where the oesophagus meets the stomach). It is essential to determine the affected area to make it easier for the doctor to treat your disease. Doctors primarily perform surgeries, but several other treatments can also be performed before or after the surgery.
Types of Gastric Cancer
There are several gastric cancer types, but the most common type is adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer accounts for about 90-95% of all stomach cancer. Cancer primarily develops from the gland cells in the mucosa or the innermost lining of the stomach. Also, adenocarcinoma is further divided into two types.
- Intestinal gastric cancer
- Diffuse gastric cancer
Apart from this, there are several other rare types of cancer, these includes:
- Gastric lymphomas: This type of cancer generally develops in the immune system.
- Carcinoid tumours: One of the rarest types of gastric cancer originates in the nervous and endocrine system cells.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumours: They are commonly known as the GIST and can be either cancerous or noncancerous (benign). They form from the interstitial cells of Cajal (a type of smooth muscle tissue).
Gastric Cancer Symptoms
The National Cancer Institute states that gastric cancer generally doesn’t have any early signs or symptoms. It is sad but true that people generally have no idea what’s going wrong with them until the disease reaches an advanced stage. However, we have made a list of a few early and advanced gastric cancer symptoms.
Early Gastric Cancer Symptoms
As stomach cancer grows and spreads, it becomes pretty difficult to notice early signs, but a few telltale signs might help you to know how to detect stomach cancer early.
- Mysterious weight loss
- Unusual pain above the belly button area or abdominal region
- Loss of appetite
- A feeling of weakness or fatigue
- Blood in stool or vomit
- A sense of fullness in the stomach
You must be wondering that these signs can also be responsible for some stomach or gas-related issues; yes, you are right, but it becomes our responsibility to consult a doctor at the earliest.
Advanced Gastric Cancer Symptoms
Signs of advanced gastric cancer can really be more severe than the early symptoms as they have nothing to do with common stomach or gas-related issues. If the disease reaches the advanced stage, it may also affect nearby organs like the liver and large intestine. These symptoms are.
- Uncontrolled vomiting
- Enlargement of the stomach or ascites
- Jaundice or yellowing of skin and eyes
- Abnormal weight loss
Gastric Cancer Causes
A particular population group indeed has a high risk of developing cancer, but one can lower the risk by knowing the causes of gastric cancer. A person should be aware of the genesis of the disease. Let us find out the causes of gastric cancer.
- Diet and lifestyle: Studies have revealed that a particular lifestyle and dietary choices are responsible for gastric cancer. Medical practitioners suggest that salt and similar chemicals such as sodium nitrite, commonly found in cured meats such as bacon, salami, and many more, can change in cancer-causing substances. Regular smoking and using tobacco products also increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, obesity is somewhat linked to the disease.
- Pre-existing conditions and diseases: If you have pre-existing conditions or diseases, it may increase your risk of developing the disease. People generally get scared after reading such statements, but it doesn’t mean that you will develop gastric cancer, but the chances of getting the disease will increase. Diseases and conditions such as stomach polyps, helicobacter pylori infection, menetrier’s disease, previous stomach surgery, and many more are more likely to affect you.
- Family history: If your mother, father, brother, or sister were diagnosed with gastric cancer, the chances of developing the malady increases. These hereditary conditions and gene mutations generally are hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis, BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, and Type A blood. It is better to meet a cancer expert if your family has any of these conditions.
- Higher risk populations: It is pretty hard to believe that a particular segment of the population is at a greater risk for developing cancer. These groups generally include men and senior citizens. It has not been proven why men are twice as likely to develop the disease as women. Studies reveal that the chances of getting the disease increases as we get older. People are more likely to get gastric cancer after the age of 50, while according to a statistic, people of 60 to 80 years old are generally most affected.
Gastric Cancer Stages
The following are the stages of gastric cancer:
- Stage 0 (Carcinoma in situ): Commonly known as carcinoma in situ, stage 0 is the initial stage of gastric cancer. Rare cells are found in the innermost layer of the stomach wall or inside the mucosa lining in this stage.
- Stage 1: In this stage, the disease has developed in the innermost layer of the stomach wall. This stage is further divided into stage IA and stages IB. In the former stage, cancer has spread into the submucosa of the stomach wall, while in the latter, it may have spread into the submucosa of the stomach wall and muscle layer of the stomach wall. Also, one or two lymph nodes may start to appear near the tumour.
- Stage 2: This stage is also divided into IIA and IIB, depending on the nature of the disease. In stage IIA, the disease may have spread to the subserosa of the stomach wall or the muscle layer of the stomach wall. One or two lymph nodes may start to appear near the tumour. Sometimes, it may spread to the submucosa of the stomach wall, and more than three lymph nodes near the tumour can be found. In the IIB stage, seven or more lymph nodes appear near the tumour.
- Stage 3: The third stage is divided into IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC. In IIIA, cancer may have spread to the outermost layer of the stomach wall or the muscle layer of the stomach wall and is found in more than seven lymph nodes near the tumour. In IIIB, the disease may have spread to nearby organs such as the liver, spleen, diaphragm, kidney, pancreas, transverse colon, and many more. In stage IIIC, around 3 to 6 lymph nodes start to appear near the tumour.
- Stage 4: Stage 4 gastric cancer is the most dangerous phase. In this stage, the disease generally spreads to different parts of the body.
ICD 10 Code For Gastric Cancer
When it comes to the International Classification of Diseases or ICD Code for gastric cancer, C16.9 is primarily used to indicate a diagnosis for reimbursement purposes.
Gastric Cancer Survival Rate
Survival rates generally help people know the percentage of people with the same type and the same stage of cancer who can live up to how many years (usually five years) after they were diagnosed. As per research, the average age of diagnosis is 68 years, while the 5-year survival rate for people with gastric cancer is 32%. If the patient is in the fourth stage, the survival rate falls down to only 6%.
Gastric Cancer Treatment
The treatment for gastric cancer generally depends on several factors such as type, size, and location of the tumour, stage of cancer, lab test results, age, and overall health of the individual. Also, there are primarily two types of treatments, local and systematic.
- Local Treatment: This type of treatment helps fight the tumour cells and affects the area surrounding the tumour. Surgery and radiation therapy are a few common examples of local therapy. These are the most effective treatments to destroy and control cancer cells.
- Systematic Treatment: You might have heard of chemotherapy; it is an example of systematic treatment. It reaches cells throughout the body by travelling through blood vessels.
Gastric Cancer Surgery
It is regarded as the most common treatment for gastric cancer. It helps to remove the entire tumour or cancer cells that may have spread to nearby tissues. Sometimes a patient only needs surgery to get rid of the disease.
Therapies For Gastric Cancer
There are generally two types of therapies, targeted and biological. The former therapy helps an individual to fight cancer without affecting healthy tissues. At the same time, biological therapy helps to block the growth of cancer cells. It generally boosts the ability of the body to fight cancer, allows the immune system to deal with targeted cells, and strengthens the immune system.
If you found the blog helpful or are battling gastric cancer, you must visit us at University Cancer Centres. We have one of the best and modern techniques to cure cancer and stop cell abnormality at pre-stage gastric cancer. Not just that, our medical professionals run clinical trials and are continuously on the voyage to find the most useful medications for battling cancer. We offer customized cancer treatments and affordable treatment options. For further information on gastric cancer and much more, So navigate to our website.