Stomach Cancer begins when the cancerous cells form the inner lining of the stomach. These cells are known as tumor cells. It is also known as Gastric cancer. Before we discuss about the symptoms of stomach cancer in India, let’s know what is Stomach Cancer or Gastric Cancer.
“Stomach Cancer also known as gastric cancer, is the accumulation of group of abnormal cells (malignant or benign), which form a mass in a part of the stomach.”
Gastric cancer is something that grows slowly for many years in the stomach.
After eating food, from the mouth it moves down through the esophagus to the stomach. In the stomach the food is digested. The stomach is a sac-like organ that holds the food and digests it by secreting gastric digestive juices.
Further the semi-digested food moves into the first part of small intestine, called duodenum.
Parts of stomach
Stomach is divided into 5 parts:
- Cardia: it is the first portion, nearest to the esophagus.
- Fundus: it is the part next to cardia.
- Body (corpus): this is the part between upper and lower part of the stomach. It is the main part of the stomach, which displays the symptoms of stomach cancer.
- Antrum: it is the lower portion near to intestine; this is the place where food is mixed with digestive juices.
- Pylorus: it is the lowest part of the stomach and also acts as a valve to control the movement of food from stomach to intestine.
The stomach has 5 layers:
- Mucosa is the innermost layer which forms the digestive juices, from which the symptoms of stomach cancer begin.
- Submucosa is the layer next to the mucosa.
- Outside to this is muscularis propria, which mixes and moves the content in the stomach.
- The outermost layers are subserosa and outer serosa, which wrap the stomach.
The cancer starts from the mucosa and penetrates the deeper cells.
Development of stomach cancer
Stomach cancer develops slowly in different parts of the stomach, sometimes showing the symptoms of gastric. The gastric cancer can also spread and cause the Esophageal cancer. Before the true cancer develops the pre-cancer symptoms of stomach cancer in India arises in the inner lining of the stomach.
A cancer that starts at the Cardia of the stomach, but then reaches to the junction of the esophagus and the stomach, it is known as Esophageal Cancer. Stomach cancer stages are different; it can even spread throughout the body through the lymph vessels. In this way, the cancerous cells may reach even to the liver, lungs, or pancreas.
The esophagus is the lower portion of food pipe that connects the mouth and food pipe with the stomach. The esophagus transports the food to the stomach through peristaltic movement, it goes into the stomach for further digestion.
What is the cancer of Esophagus?
The cells that line the esophagus are present in layers. Among these layers the innermost layer is Mucosa; the cells of this layer when induced with some abnormlaities cause them to outgrow to the outer part in an uncontrolled way. These abnormal cells in the esophagus are known as the Cancer cells, and the disease called the Esophageal Cancer.
Esophageal cancer may also be responsible for the stomach cancer, by invading through the food track into the stomach and causing the cells lining the stomach to grow into cancerous cells. Thus, causing the symptoms of stomach cancer to arise. These cancerous cells may also invade into the blood, pancreas, liver, etc, causing cancers in the different organs.
Before going through the main symptoms of stomach cancer, let us understand the different types of cancer.
Types of Cancer
- Adenocarcinoma – It is almost 90 to 95% of the gastric cancer. These cancers occur in the innermost lining of the stomach, i.e., Mucosa.
- Lymphoma – It is the cancer of immune system tissue in the body of a human. It rarely happens; just 4% cases are believed to be this type of stomach cancer. The symptoms of stomach cancer in this case might be different in certain cases, but mostly similar. The treatment and medication of this type depends on the stomach cancer stages.
- Gastrointestinal stromal Tumor – This type of gastric cancer occurs in the very early forms of cells in the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal. It is a very rare type and also shows different symptoms of stomach cancer.
- Carcinoid tumors – This type of Stomach cancer arises in the hormone producing cells in the stomach. Most of these tumors do not spread to other parts of the body.
There are certain more different types of stomach cancer or gastric cancer, but they are generally rare.
The causes of stomach cancer
We will go through the risks factors for gastric cancer under this article. Whenever we notice any symptoms of stomach cancer then only we start wondering what is the cause of this gastric cancer.
The gastritis is caused due to the infection by H pylori. It causes the inflammation of the stomach cells, in response to the infection. The reason is that our immune system releases the antibodies to attack on the infection and so, the own cells of the stomach, that can be termed as Auto-immune reaction.
This leads to abnormality in the stomach cells lining them, causing gastric cancer.
Other risk factors of stomach cancer
When a person undergoes the development of pernicious anemia or any other stomach problems, and if it aggravates, this results into the gastric cancer.
Some preserved and refrigerated foods are also the causal behind the stomach cancer.
While, there are certain nutrients which can alleviate the risk of gastric cancer. Thus, it lowers the risk of the symptoms of stomach cancer to develop.
There are some fruits and vegetables which if consumed fresh help in reducing the symptoms of stomach cancer; they contain some antioxidants that fight with the gastric cancer.
There are the risk factors like DNA changes as well, that may cause the symptoms of stomach cancer to happen.
The Inherited mutations in genes the human can cause the risk of symptoms of stomach cancer, by changing the normal stomach lining cells into abnormal gastric cancer cells. Scientists believe that the high use of tobacco can also cause gastric cancer.
After the risk factors of gastric cancer, it is crucial to understand what the symptoms of stomach cancer are.
What are the Symptoms of Stomach Cancer?
In the early stages of the gastric cancer mostly the signs are not visible. At times the patient may mistake the signs of some stomach virus or disease with the symptoms of stomach cancer.
The signs and symptoms of stomach cancer are difficult to notice, even at the advanced stages of gastric cancer. Due to these problems, the patients of stomach cancer are at high risk. So, it is a necessity to carefully understand the symptoms of stomach cancer, even if it’s you or any of your closed ones.
Below are the main symptoms of stomach cancer
Poor appetite – a poor appetite is among the symptoms of stomach cancer, poor appetite appears much after the onset of stomach cancer.
Losing weight unintentionally – when one starts losing weight drastically, this may be one of the symptoms of stomach cancer. As the metabolism of the body becomes weak due to the gastric cancer, the body starts losing its energy and body weight.
Pain in the Abdomen – the belly pain can be due to many reasons, but if it aggravates and persists for long time, then it may be among the symptoms of stomach cancer.
A discomfort in the naval region/on belly – When there is some discomfort in the abdominal region that is prolonged one, is said to be the symptoms of stomach cancer.
Sense of full stomach after a small meal- the symptoms of stomach cancer also present the fullness of the stomach easily, just after small meals.
So it is better take a checkup.
Some more important symptoms of stomach cancer are:
Indigestion and Heartburn – the gastric cancer and the esophageal cancer, both show these symptoms of stomach cancer, i.e., acidity and indigestion for most of the time in a person.
Nausea – nausea is one of the most common symptoms of stomach cancer and other cancers as well. It can also be caused due to pregnancy, or food poisoning or some gastric problems.
Blood in Vomiting – when a person vomits several times, that too a blood vomiting, you need to rush to the doctor. These symptoms of stomach cancer is the most deadliest one.
Anemia (low blood cell count) – Anemia is not a good sign for anybody’s health, especially women face this problem. But, when it is related with some more symptoms of stomach cancer, some extra care is required; as it can be the gastric cancer or esophageal cancer.
The symptoms of stomach cancer doesn’t come in appearance in the beginning of gastric cancer, it is mostly diagnosed lately. But, sometimes these symptoms of stomach cancer may be confused with other gastric problems, or stomach virus or ulcer. In most of the cases, gastric cancer is hard to diagnose except for 1 out of 5 cases; so it is a risk and you need to be careful in noticing the symptoms of stomach cancer.
The Stages of stomach cancer
After going through the symptoms of stomach cancer, we need to know the stages of gastric cancer. The stomach cancer stages, an important factor in choosing treatment options.
There are two types of stomach cancer stages:
The Clinical stage of the Gastric cancer
The doctor’s makes an estimate of the stage of the cancer, based on the diagnosis and symptoms of stomach cancer. Some tests like biopsy, imaging tests, blood tests, x-rays, etc., help in making the decision, before the cancer treatment.
The Pathologic Stage of the Gastric cancer
The pathologic stage defines the stage of gastric cancer that is found at the time of surgery. The distinguishing of the stages of gastric cancer is based on the surgery and the patient’s outlook.
The staging of cancer is a method through which the doctors get an idea of how much the cancer has spread in the body of a patient. This staging system that helps in the treatment and knowing symptoms of stomach cancer is known as TNM System.
How to Diagnose and Treat the Gastric Cancer?
As soon as one observes the symptoms of stomach cancer in India, the diagnosis should be the quickest action to take. There are certain diagnosis methods. They are:
- Medical History and physical examination
- Upper endoscopy
- Endoscopic ultrasound
- Imaging Tests
- Computed Topography (CT) Scan
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan
- Chest X-Ray
- Treating Stomach Cancer
General Treatment Information
As of now, when the patient understands his stages and symptoms of stomach cancer in India, especially after the diagnosis, he gets some options of treatment to decide. So, you really need to be an acquaintance to the different treatments of gastric cancer, which will further help you to understand what the doctor would be doing and what other queries you hold.
The main treatments for stomach cancer are:
Surgery – as we all know, the doctors perform surgery in tumor cases.
Chemotherapy – it is the drug inducing therapy, in case of the malignant type of cancer.
Targeted therapy – In targeted therapy, the particular part of the tumor is destroyed one by one.
Radiation therapy– This is used to kill the invaded tumor in the stomach.
Often the best approach uses 2 or more of these treatment methods. It is very important to understand the goal of your treatment if it is to cure your cancer or to keep it under control or to relieve the symptoms of stomach cancer in India. Therefore, even the treatment tends to cure the disease; the symptoms of stomach cancer will automatically vanish.
There may be some complementary methods as well. These methods are used along with regular medication. Alternative treatments are used instead of a doctor’s medical treatment. But some might even be dangerous.
Note: Please consult a specialist or your doctor for this.
The stomach cancer treatment depends on the types and stages of gastric cancer. The symptoms of stomach cancer in India also helps in making this decision.
- The first stage of gastric cancer can be treated easily by noticing the initial symptoms of stomach cancer in India. Surgery helps in the removal of stomach tumor.
- In the second stage, the surgery, as well as radiation, is applied to cease the cancer cells to grow more. As the tumor grows, and if its broken cells invade in some other parts of the stomach, then these treatments can be used. If it is severe, Chemotherapy is helpful.
- In the third stage of cancer, the Surgery is the main treatment, which is followed by Chemo or Radiotherapy; this only helps in alleviating symptoms of stomach cancer in India.
Help to get through Cancer Treatment
Your cancer care team will be your first source of information and support, from the beginning of the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer to stomach cancer stages, its diagnosis, everything will be under their guidance.These are the diagnosis, treatments, and medication to gastric cancer. Now you are well aware of the symptoms of stomach cancer in India and can help anyone who needs it. Good luck!
Stay hale and hearty.