Insight of Stomach Cancer
Defining Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is caused by a malignant growth of a tumor into its structures. Although it can be genetic, most incidences recorded have been found to be related to diet.
If you are curious to find out more about this disease and learn the risk factors that predispose people to this cancer, then this health guideline will give you adequate information about it.
What is stomach cancer by definition?
Stomach cancer also referred by others as gastric cancer, is defined as an abnormal proliferation of cancer cells in the stomach structure affecting anywhere within the stomach. Most stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas. This means the tumor present on the stomach is malignant in nature and the growth is glandular. This type of cancer is known to have a higher incidence rate that affects more men than females.
What predisposes us to stomach cancer?
One factor that predisposes us to this type of cancer is related to diet high in smoked meats like barbeque, hams and grilled dishes. Diets that also contain pickled food also show a high incidence to this type of disease. Basically foods that contain large concentrations of nitrates are a no-nos. Secondly, alcohol and smoking has also been found to be related to its development. Constant irritation caused by alcohol and smoking to the lining of the stomach can cause the cells to mutate which can lead to cancer. Another factor that can lead to stomach cancer is a history of chronic gastric ulcers caused by helibactor pylori infection.
What are the early signs and symptoms to quickly identify this cancer?
1. A feeling of pressure from within
This maybe caused by the tumor inside the stomach exerting pressure on surrounding tissues within the stomach.
2. Palpable mass
This maybe caused by the tumor protruding thru the stomach organ and that can be palpated.
3. Weight loss
Indigestion of food because of the tumor can cause malabsorption and cause steatorrhea which is the presence of glucose, lipase, ammonia, vitamins, and electrolytes in a stool. Because most food can’t be digested properly, the body compensates by getting its needs thru its stored reserve causing weight loss.
A part of the stomach contains parietal cells that produce intrinsic factor which coats B12 in the stomach. Damaged to these cells will affect B12 which will then lead to pernicious anemia.
What are the complications?
1. Massive bleeding – Hemorrhage is caused by the tumor rubbing against surrounding tissue or perforation of the stomach can cause massive bleeding.
2. Spread of the cancer – Metastasis of the cancer to surrounding organs.
3. Obstruction – the tumor can cause blockage to the lower GI organs.
What are the diagnostic tests to confirm stomach cancer?
1. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
2. Barium swallow
3. Endoscopic ultrasound
4. Computed tomography
The best medical intervention against stomach cancer is to remove the tumor while it is still localized in the stomach before it spreads around surrounding organs.