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Stomach Cancer Symptoms Causes and Treatment

Stomach Cancer:

The stomach cancer , also called gastric cancer , develops from a parietal cell (cell in the stomach wall), initially normal, that multiplies uncontrollably, forming a mass called a malignant tumor .

More than 90% of the tumors that cause stomach cancer are adenocarcinomas , that is, they develop from the inner surface layer of the stomach, called the mucosa . It is a cancer which progresses slowly and which one seldom meets before 50 years.
The tumors can remain local for a long time, before spreading to the other layers of the gastric wall and invading by contiguity the nearby organs (pancreas, colon, spleen) or by lymphatic and vascular way, by leaving cancer cells going to invade the lymph nodes, then spread these cancer cells to other organs such as the liver and lung (metastases).
Other forms of stomach cancer , such as gastric lymphoma (which affects the lymphatic system), sarcoma (which affects muscle tissue) or gastrointestinal stromal tumor (which arises in the tissues of the organs that support the system digestive), are much rarer. It will not be discussed in this file.

Symptoms of stomach cancer:

In its early stages, stomach cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms since the tumor is small. In addition, the abdomen and stomach are large structures capable of expanding, so a tumor can develop there without causing symptoms. Symptoms often appear after the tumor has spread to nearby tissues and organs. Symptoms of stomach cancer can also be caused by other medical conditions. If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor.

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  1. Pain or discomfort in the abdomen (may be mild)
  2. Tired
  3. Digestive changes, such as loss of appetite, feeling full after a light meal (early satiety), heartburn (difficulty digesting) or nausea
  4. Difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
  5. Vomiting, in which there may be blood
  6. Anemia
  7. Abdominal bloating, especially after meals
  8. Blood in stool
  9. Jaundice (the skin and the whites of the eyes turn yellow and the urine is dark yellow)
  10. Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (called ascites)
  11. Mass in the abdomen that can be palpated on physical examination
  12. Mass on an ovary (Krukenberg's tumor)
  13. Mass in the pelvis (Blumer's plate), which can be palpated during a digital rectal examination
  14. Bump in the navel area (a swollen lymph node, sometimes called Sister Mary Joseph's lymph node)
  15. bump above the left collarbone (one or more swollen lymph nodes, sometimes called Troisier or Virchow nodes)
  16. lump in the left armpit (a swollen lymph node)
  17. darkening of the skin in the folds of the body (acanthosis nigricans)
  18. wart-like growths on the skin (seborrheic keratosis)


There is no known specific cause for stomach cancer, but chronic inflammation of the lining of the stomach increases the risk , as in the case of Helicobacter Pylori gastritis. Stomach cancer is also associated with the consumption, over a long period, of salty, smoked or marinated foods, a diet low in fruits and vegetables, just like smoking.

Evolution of the disease:

At an advanced stage of the disease, serious complications can occur:

Digestive hemorrhages;
Stenosis (obstacle in the stomach);
More rarely perforation of the stomach;
The prognosis of this cancer depends on the invasion of tumor cells in the stomach wall , regional nodes and nearby organs. It is usually bad and can only be improved if the diagnosis is made early.

Treatment of stomach cancer:

The treatment of stomach cancer depends on several factors, notably the balance of extension, the stage of the cancer, the age of the patient and his general state of health. It is based on surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care.

The main treatment is  surgery . Depending on the tumor, it will consist in removing the tumor and part of the surrounding lymph nodes: total or total gastrectomy (removal of the stomach) (enlarged removing in addition to the stomach, the spleen and part of the pancreas) the location of the cancer (upper or lower part of the stomach). The surgeon also removes lymph nodes close to the stomach area. Certain stomach cancers are difficult to operate (an inextricable tumor). The mortality from surgical treatment is around 10%. Surgery (total or partial gastrectomy) is the only curative treatment for gastric cancer.

It may be supplemented by  chemotherapy  and / or  radiotherapy  depending on the extension assessment. Chemotherapy can be used before surgery to shrink the tumor, or afterwards postoperatively with radiation therapy. In some cases, chemotherapy is used alone.

The prognosis of stomach cancer is directly linked to the earliness of the diagnosis. This motivates the surveillance of subjects at high risk of developing this cancer allowing early detection of the disease, the only guarantee of a better prognosis. This early detection is based on regular practice in these patients of gastric fibroscopy with biopsy samples.

Finally, new treatments (new targeted therapies,  monoclonal antibodies , small molecules ...) have evolved a lot in recent years. These new treatments and earlier diagnosis are now improving the prognosis and survival of these patients. Recently, targeted drugs are now used to treat advanced, metastatic or recurrent stomach cancer: trastuzumab ( Herceptin ) and ramucirumab ( Cyramza ).
Source: This Info is taken from'',doctissimo and other websites from internet


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