Stomach cancer is characterized by a growth of cancerous cells within the lining of the stomach. It is difficult to diagnose because affected people don’t show any symptoms in the earlier stages. One of the biggest problems of this disease is it often goes unnoticed until it spreads to other parts of the body. This makes it even more complex to treat. Pathology is vital and dictates prognosis of disease.95% of all gastric cancer is Adenocarcinoma. Other malignant tumors asre rare and include squamous cell carcinoma, mucinous carcinoma, adenocanthoma, carcinoid tumors, hepatoid adenocarcinoma, oncocytic carcinoma, sarcomatoid carcinoma, neuroendocrine tumor, GIST (Gastrointestinal stromal tumotr) or leiomyosarcoma. The term Gastric Cancerrefers to Adenocarcinoma. One of the best stomach cancer doctor in Kolkata, Dr. Suvadip Chakrabarti MCh (Surgical Oncology) is discussing its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Factors associated with increased Risk of Developing Stomach Cancer

Acquired Factors

  • Nutritional
  • Occupational

    • Rubber workers
    • Coal workers
  • Cigarette Smoking

  • H.pylori infection

  • Ebstein Barr virus
  • Radiation exposure
  • Prior gastric surgery for benign gastric ulcer disease
  • Prior treatment for Mucosa Associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)

Genetic

  • Type A blood group
  • Pernicious anaemia

  • Family history of Gastric Cancer

  • BRCA 1&2

  • Hereditary diffuse gastric carcinoma
  • Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer
  • Precursor lesion

    • Adenomatous gastric polyp
    • Chronic atrophic gastritis
    • Dysplasia
    • Intestinal metaplasia
    • Menetrier disease

Obesity

Symptoms

There are no true early signs or symptoms of stomach cancer and people are often unaware of anything going wrong before the cancer has reached an advanced stage. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Nausea and vomiting (6-40%)

  • Frequent heartburn
  • Loss of appetite (5-40%) and sudden weight loss (22-61%)

  • Constant bloating

  • Indigestion
  • Early satiety
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Stomach pain (62-91%)

  • In addition patients maybe asymptomatic (4-17%)
  • Ascites, jaundice or a palpable mass indicate curability.

Treatment

The treatment procedure for stomach cancer involves one or more of the following:

1. Staging and pathology is vital. Various investigating modality available

  • Endoscopy

  • CT SCAN
  • MRI
  • PET CT SCAN

2. Accordingly treatment is formulated. Various option are available in the form of

  • Surgery followed by Chemotherapy
  • Upfront Chemotherapy followed by surgery and adjuvant Chemotherapy
  • Surgery plus chemoradiation
  • Palliative Surgery
  • Immunotherapy / Targeted Therapy

Deciding on the line of therapy requires deep understanding and knowledge of STOMACH CANCER biologyand disease behavior . So when in doubt it is advisable to visit a SURGICAL ONCOLOGIST to plan and implement treatment protocol and options available