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Stomach Cancer Awareness

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Understanding the symptoms of stomach cancer is the first step in detecting and properly diagnosing the disease. In most cases, the common symptoms of stomach cancer are caused by another condition, such as an ulcer, virus, or bacterial infection. Consult your doctor, however, if you have symptoms that get worse or persist, such as:

  • Poor appetite
  • A feeling of fullness, especially after minimal food intake
  • Unintentional or unexplained weight loss
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Belly pain, swelling, or fluid buildup

Causes and Risk Factors

It’s difficult to say what exactly causes stomach cancer, but correlations between certain factors and contracting the disease have been reported. For example, stomach cancer is more common in people older than age 50, with most people receiving a diagnosis between ages 60 and 90. Men are also more likely than women to get it, and the disease is more prevalent in Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders than in Caucasians.

Other risk factors include:

  • Previous infection with a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori
  • Smoking
  • A diet high in smoked foods, salted or cured fish and meats, and certain preservatives
  • Obesity Progression and Treatment of Stomach Cancer

    As with other cancers, stomach cancer can eventually spread to other parts of the body. The disease’s progression is described in the following stages, which help doctors determine how to treat it:

    • Stage 0: The cancer is in the stomach’s innermost lining.
    • Stage 1: The cancer has grown into deeper layers of the stomach and possibly also into the main muscle layer of the stomach wall.
    • Stage 2: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or has grown completely through the stomach’s muscle layer, but has not spread to other parts of the body.
    • Stage 3: The cancer has grown through the stomach wall or has spread to nearby organs or structures, but it has not spread to distant parts of the body.
    • Stage 4: The cancer has spread to distant organs, such as the lungs, liver, or brain.

    Regional Cancer Care Associates has a knowledgeable and caring staff with the resources to provide the right diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. Treatment of stomach cancer may include surgery, use of chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapy, radiosurgery, and more.