Cancer Stomach Surgery
What is Stomach Cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which any part of the body observes abnormal cell growth. Similarly, in the case of stomach cancer, cells of any part of the stomach start growing numerously. Stomach cancer is the most life-threatening disease that needs immediate cancer stomach surgery.
Stomach cancer, also known as Gastric Cancer usually evolves in the inner wall of the stomach called the mucosa, where the mucus-producing cells are present. But it can develop in any area of the stomach. If diagnosed early, stomach cancer is most treatable. But it is sometimes difficult to diagnose stomach cancer early as the early symptoms are very similar to that of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
Stomach cancer, also known as Gastric cancer, is mostly found in older people over the age of 55. But anyone can be the victim of stomach cancer if they don’t follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.
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Types of Stomach Cancer
- Adenocarcinoma of the stomach: Adenocarcinoma is the type of cancer that affects the mucus generating cells of the body. When cancer develops in the mucosa of the stomach it is called Adenocarcinoma of the stomach. It is the most common type (90% to 95%) of stomach cancer among other types.
- Lymphoma of the stomach: Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects lymphocytes, which are known as the white blood cell or the immune cells. This type of cancer affects the lymph nodes, where the lymphocytes (WBC) start growing uncontrollably. Lymphoma of the stomach or Gastric Lymphoma occurs when cancerous growth is observed in the lymphocytes that are present in the stomach. Lymphoma of the stomach is usually rare (5% of all cases).
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): This is a rare kind of tumor that is found in the connective tissues of the stomach wall. This kind of tumor can be found in other parts of the digestive tracts as well such as the small intestine. This type of tumor can be both cancerous and non-cancerous. This is mostly found in people over 40
- Neuroendocrine tumors: As the name suggests, it is a type of abnormal cell growth of the endocrine (hormonal) and nervous cells. These tumors can be both cancerous and non-cancerous. It can develop in the hormonal tissues of the stomach too.
The most common type of stomach cancer is the Adenocarcinoma of the stomach among all types of stomach cancer.
Before we discuss Stomach Cancer, its symptoms, causes, and treatment, let us know about the stomach and its functionality in a nutshell.
What is the Stomach?
The stomach is the most vital organ of the digestive system. It is the second part of the digestive system after the esophagus (the food pipe). The second phase of the digestion of food is accomplished in the stomach following chewing. The food in the stomach is churned and broke down due to the presence of enzymes and gastric acid (Hydrochloric acid, HCl). The stomach muscles contract iteratively to digest the food.
The stomach is placed under the esophagus and above the small intestine inside the abdominal cavity. It is located in the left part of the upper abdomen. The stomach receives food through the opening which is the junction of the esophagus and the stomach and passes through the duodenum into the small intestine after digestion.
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Symptoms/Development of stomach cancer
Stomach Cancer is difficult to diagnose at the early stage as it does not have any certain symptoms that can point towards stomach cancer. The symptoms of stomach cancer at the early stage are very much similar to the symptoms of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux disease). Initially, stomach cancer can show the following symptoms.
- Feeling full most of the time or after having a very small quantity of food. ( this is taken as the fairest sign of stomach cancer)
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Persistent heartburn.
- Frequent bloating (swelling of belly after eating because of excessive production of gas)
- Indigestion, that is always present.
- Difficulty in swallowing
Although all of these can indicate GERD, these symptoms can be the indication of cancer in the stomach too which needs immediate cancer stomach surgery.
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Obviously, the presence of cancerous cells in the stomach causes stomach cancer. But what causes cancerous cells to grow is still unclear. Untreated tumors in the stomach can grow into cancer. Persistent and untreated acid reflux disease also can turn into stomach cancer that needs cancer stomach surgery. Infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori is assumed to be another cause of stomach cancer. Scientists could not find the exact cause of stomach cancer to date.
Cancer in the stomach cannot be diagnosed without proper medical or pathological tests. Doctors can confirm stomach cancer after the tests only. Your doctor will suggest you take certain pathological tests to confirm the presence of stomach cancer if he/she assumes that you may have cancer in your stomach.
There are certain types of medical diagnostic tests available to confirm the presence of cancerous cells in the body. Those are as follows:
- Upper Endoscopy: A thin scope or flexible tube is passed through the esophagus which reaches up to the stomach. A tiny camera with a tiny light is attached at the end of the scope through which the doctor can see the condition of the stomach on a monitor. Tissues can be collected during the process of biopsy. If any abnormality is found the doctor will take necessary action.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound: This process is similar to endoscopy. The difference here is that the endoscope has a tiny ultrasound probe attached to it at the end. This helps to create an ultrasound image of the internal organs. Endoscopic ultrasound is better than standard ultrasound as the ultrasound probe is inserted inside the stomach instead of placing it on the skin. This ultrasound helps to see how far the abnormality has spread.
- Biopsy: An endoscopy or endoscopic ultrasound may suspect cancer but the only way to confirm it is a biopsy. A biopsy is an examination of tissues taken from a particular area of the body to determine the existence of a certain disease. If the doctor finds any abnormalities inside your stomach, he will suggest you go for a biopsy test. The tissues of the abnormal are inside your stomach will be examined by a pathologist to determine the presence of cancer.
- Imaging: Various imaging techniques are available to see whether you have stomach cancer.
Some of them are described below,
- CT scan or CAT scan (Computed Tomography): X-Ray pictures of the internal organs are taken from various angles and then combined to get a 3D image of the internal organs. This technique gives a clear and clean image of the internal organs. This technique is helpful to locate the cancerous region more accurately.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): This technique uses magnetic resonance instead of X-Rays to take the image of the organs. This technique is helpful to determine the size of the tumor.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET): This technique is done by a CT scan. The difference is that a slightly radioactive sugar is injected into the patient’s body. The sugar substance is captivated by the cancerous cells mostly. When imaging is done, the scanner then detects this substance to deliver the accurate positions of cancerous cells inside the body.
- X-Ray (BSE): In this technique, the patient swallows a solution of barium to coat the inner lines of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. X-Ray is absorbed by barium. Hence when an X-Ray photograph is taken after swallowing the barium solution the internal organs as well as any abnormality can be seen on the photograph.
- Molecular testing of the tumor: Your doctor can suggest taking a lab test on the tumor to understand some particular factors.
- Laparoscopy: This is done to check whether the stomach cancer has spread to the lower part of the digestive system or not. It is a small surgery where a small tube with a light and camera at the end is inserted through the anus to check any abnormality is present or not. ELCE Hospitals in Coimbatore give the best diagnosis to find cancer in stomach and provides professional cancer stomach surgery to the patient.
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As the causes of stomach cancer are unknown it is difficult to tell how to prevent stomach cancer. But some preventive measures can help to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.
- Avoid consuming preserved food often
- Stop smoking
- Avoid salty food.
- Avoid frozen food.
- Follow a healthy diet
- Have a meal (though small amount) every 3-4 hour
Cancer Stomach Surgery
Treatment and Surgery:
Sadly there is no proper medication for cancer in modern medicine. The ways that can treat stomach cancer are as follows,
- Surgery: A cancer stomach surgery is performed to remove the cancerous cells permanently from the body. Depending on the need a surgeon may decide to remove all or part of the stomach. The medical term of removal of stomach is Gastrectomy.
Three types of Gastrectomy are
- Partial Gastrectomy: The surgeon removes the part of the stomach where cancerous cells were spread.
- Total Gastrectomy: The surgeon removes the whole stomach.
- Esophagogastrectomy: The surgeon removes the stomach and part of the esophagus.
Stomach cancer can be treated by some other techniques also as follows.
- Radiation therapy
The radiation therapy is performed by the specialist who uses radioactive rays to kill the cancerous cell completely. This kind of therapy is not common for cancer stomach surgery because it has a chance of harming the other organs.
However, if the cancer is in the advanced stage having symptoms like bleeding and severe pain the radiation therapy is considered.
ELCE clinic has 20 years of experience in treating cancer stomach surgery. The Doctors of ELCE Clinic combine radiation therapy with chemotherapy to shrink the tumor cells which leads to easier surgical removal. They also use radiation therapy after surgery to kill the remaining cancerous cells around the stomach.
People may experience the side effects of radiation therapy as vomiting, nausea, indigestion, and diarrhea after the treatment.
Chemotherapy is another kind of cancer stomach surgery in which the specialist gives drugs to stop the rapidly-growing cancer cells from dividing and multiplying. The drug given in chemotherapy is known as cytotoxic medicines. This kind of treatment is primarily for stomach cancer which has spread all over the body.
The experienced specialist uses chemotherapy to shrink the tumor before surgery and kills the remaining cancerous cells through surgery.