This is a condition in which the mucus-producing cells that line the stomach becomes malignant proliferate uncontrollably and clump together, to form a tumor. The rate of the occurrence of gastric cancer, particularly those that affect the stomach body, has been reducing over the years. On the other hand, those that affect the other parts of the stomach, such as the top part, and the pyloric part(lower end) has become more prominent, over the years. Some of the signs and symptoms of this disease include heartburn, upper abdominal discomfort, loss of weight, nausea, vomiting, hematochezia, yellow discoloration of the skin and the eyes, and so on. This disease also has a tendency to spread to other parts of the body. Examples of parts of the body that the disease usually spreads to include the lungs, bones, lymph nodes, and so on. The most common cause of stomach cancer is by Helicobacter pylori, the same organism responsible for peptic ulcer. Other factors that have been identified to also contribute to the development of this disease include unhealthy lifestyles such as smoking, overweight and obesity, genetics and so on. Statistics have shown that about 10% of people affected with the disease inherited it. Physicians diagnose this disease based on the presenting signs and symptoms of the patient. They also carry out further tests to exclude other diseases. Some of the tests done include endoscopy, biopsy, and medical imaging, which is done to check if cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body. Studies have shown that treating Helicobacter pylori infection significantly reduces the risk of developing stomach cancer in the future. This disease is treated by combining different treatment methods. Some of the ways physicians treat stomach cancer include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery and so on. Scientists are working on ways to isolate and target cancer stem cells responsible for the growth of stomach cancer. This cancer stem cells are responsible for the uncontrolled proliferation of the tumor tissues. This would eventually lead to the development of drugs that would eliminate the cancer stem cells, which would cure the disease
What Are Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Gastric Cancer?
Persons affected with this disease usually don’t present with any signs and symptoms in the early stage of the disease. This is why the majority of patients don’t realize they have the disease until it’s at the advanced stage. Below are some of the signs and symptoms you might see in the early stage of the disease;
- Indigestion: This is one of the early symptoms of the disease. Patients find it difficult digesting food.
- Heartburn: This can be described as a burning sensation in the abdominal region.
- Loss of appetite: This can probably be attributed to the discomfort in the abdomen. This causes the affected persons to lose their appetite for food.
- Fatigue: Persons in the early stage of stomach cancer might also feel fatigued a lot of times. This usually can’t understand pinpoint the cause of fatigue and weakness.
- Abdominal bloating: This tends to occur in persons affected by stomach cancer, even after eating a little amount of food.
In the later stage of the disease, patients would Present with the Following Signs and Symptoms;
- Loss of weight: This occurs due to the uncontrollable proliferation of the cancer cells. These cells have a high metabolism, and also use up the nutrients, that should be available for healthy
- Blood in the stool: Patients would notice some blood in their stool.
- Persistent vomiting: Patients would have frequent and continuous vomiting; they don’t have control
What Are the Causes of Gastric Cancer?
One of the most common causes of gastric cancer is Helicobacter pylori infection. In addition, genetics also plays a role in the development of the disease. This occurs when there is a mutation of the cell of the stomach lining. These cells proliferate at a fast rate and attain a certain level of immortality. These cells do metastasize from the origin to other parts of the body, such as the lung, bones, ovaries and so on. Some medical conditions are associated with this disease. Some of them include gastroesophageal reflux disease, obesity, and smoking.
How Is Stomach Cancer Diagnosed?
The physician would first perform a physical examination of the patient. He’d then proceed to ask about the medical history of the patient, and the presenting symptoms, as well as the patient’s family history. He might then order for some tests to check for the presence of cancer cells. Below are some of the tests he might order for;
- Blood test: This is done to see if there are any cancer cells in the blood.
- Endoscopy: The typical endoscopy done for stomach cancer is upper endoscopy. This is because the upper endoscopy would show in details the developments and growth in the stomach.
How Is Gastric Cancer Currently Treated?
There are many treatment procedures used for stomach cancer. This includes surgery, radiotherapy, targeted therapy, and chemotherapy. The kind of treatment depends on some factors, such as the size of a tumor, how far it has spread, affected organs and so on.
- Surgery: The surgeon might have to remove a part of the stomach, and tissues that are affected by cancer. In severe cases, the doctor might have to remove the entire stomach.
- Chemotherapy: This is the process whereby drugs are used to kill the cancer cells. This procedure usually takes weeks before it’s completed.
- Radiotherapy: This is the use of high-intensity radiations to kill tumors
Stem Cell Therapy And Gastric Carcinoma
Scientists are working on ways to isolate and target cancer stem cells responsible for the growth of stomach cancer. This cancer stem cells are responsible for the uncontrolled proliferation of the tumor tissues. This would eventually lead to the development of drugs that would eliminate the cancer stem cells, which would cure the disease.
Case Report: A 69 – Year – Old Women with Stomach Cancer. (2017). International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 6(1), pp.1130-1131.
Kamble, S. and Bapat, S. (2013). Stem cell and cancer stem cell games on the ECM field. Journal of Cancer Stem Cell Research, 1(1), p.1.
Lunet, N., Carvalho, R. and Barros, H. (2004). An appraisal of gastric cancer research in cancer journals. Gastric Cancer, 7(3).Get More Stem Cell Information at iSTEMCELL