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Stomach Cancer

more about Stomach Cancer

Gastric cancer or Gastric Adenocarcinoma


  • The most common type is Gastric Adenocarcinoma.  It is actually the most common type of cancer (other than skin cancer) worldwide.  Gastric Adenocarcinoma is more common in men, Asians, Africans, and Hispanics.  There is a very high incidence in Japan, Chile, Colombia, and Central America. The second leading cause of stomach disease is non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

  • There are often no symptoms until the late stages of the disease
  • Stomach discomfort/pain-often mild
  • Appetite loss
  • Early satiety (fill up on food quickly)
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting blood or passing black stools in some cases

  • Examination:
    1. Mass in stomach is felt in less than 20% of cases
    2. Stool sample may show microscopic blood (guaiac positive)
    3. Enlarged left supraclavicular node (Virchow's node), an umbilical nodule, rigid rectal shelf, or ovarian mass are signs of metastatic spread
  • Laboratory:
    1. Iron Deficiency Anemia
    2. Liver functions are abnormal if there is metastatic spread to the liver
    3. Endoscopy (scope passed down the throat into stomach) with biopsies will make the diagnosis
    4. An Upper GI series (barium is swallowed and X-Rays are taken) only when endoscopy is not available (it may miss small tumors)
    5. An Abdominal CT scan is done to look for metastases

  • Chronic Heliobacter pylori infection
  • Chronic atrophic Gastritis
  • Pernicious Anemia (B12 Deficiency)
  • History of partial gastrectomy (the stomach is removed by surgery)
  • Salty and smoked foods (e.g., with nitrites), such as smoked fish, may be a risk factor

    1. A surgical resection in early stages of the disease may provide a cure.
    2. Late disease (spreads to structures adjacent to the stomach) or metastatic disease
    3. There is no cure except for surgery.
    4. Radiation and chemotherapy may help to decrease the symptoms.
    1. MALT Lymphoma (a specific low-grade type) associated with Heliobacter pylori infection and treatment, often involves only treating the Heliobacter pylori with antibiotics, which cause the tumor to regress.
    2. Early disease -- surgical resection can be performed.
    3. Late disease (including metastatic)-Chemotherapy by be curative here

  • Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.  Early treatment is the best chance for a cure.

  • If you live in a high-risk area like Japan, routine endoscopy screenings should be performed.  Please discuss this with your doctor.

more about Stomach Cancer

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