What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer – also referred to as “gastric cancer” – refers to the abnormal division and growth of cells in the mucosal cells lining the inside of the stomach. This type of stomach cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Stomach cancer is relatively uncommon in the U.S.; the number of diagnoses is declining each year. The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 26,370 new cases of stomach cancer in 2016: approximately 62% cases in males, and 38% in females.
The exact causes of stomach cancer are not fully understood, however, physicians have noted a strong correlation between stomach cancer and diets that are rich in smoked and salted foods.
What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer primarily affects older people; the average age of a person diagnosed with stomach cancer is 69. However, the average lifetime risk for developing stomach cancer is relatively low – just one in 111. Risk is higher in men than women, but the following risk factors should also be considered in addition to sex and age:
- Addison’s anemia
- Chronic stomach inflammation
- Diet high in smoked and salty foods
- Diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Consumption of foods contaminated with aflatoxins fungus (uncommon in the U.S.)
- Family history of stomach cancer (mother, father, sister or brother)
- Having stomach polyps
- Infection with helicobacter pylori
- Smoking cigarettes
Are there symptoms of stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer may present the following symptoms in the early stages:
- Bloated feeling after eating
- Indigestion and stomach discomfort (usually severe and without relief)
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained nausea
In the later stages, stomach cancer may present these symptoms:
- Blood in the stool
- Build-up of fluid in the abdomen
- Jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin)
- Unintended weight loss
How do you screen for and detect stomach cancer?
Physicians at Jordan Valley Cancer Center may use the following tests to diagnose and stage the stomach cancer. (Learn more about staging below.) Select a procedure to find out more about it:
The Stages of Stomach Cancer
Oncologists at Jordan Valley Cancer Center use the following stages to describe the cancer’s progression:
- Stage I: At this stage, the tumor is contained within the layer of tissue lining the inside of the stomach. It is possible that cancer cells have spread to some local lymph nodes.
- Stage II: By Stage II, the cancer has progressed into the stomach wall’s muscle layer. It may have also spread to more lymph nodes.
- Stage III: At this point, the cancer has permeated all stomach layers and traveled to nearby structures. Or, it is possible that the cancer is smaller, but has traveled extensively through lymph nodes.
- Stage IV: By Stage IV, cancer has spread to remote areas of the body, including, for example, the liver or pancreas.
How do you treat stomach cancer?
Providers at Jordan Valley Cancer Center take an integrative approach to treating stomach cancer, just as they do with many other cancers in our West Jordan facility. By gathering oncologists with diverse backgrounds and specialties under one roof, we are able to offer more comprehensive cancer treatments than might be possible at other facilities. Treatments may include:
- Oral Chemotherapy Dispensing
- Radiation Therapy
- Minimally Invasive & Laparoscopic Surgery
The Patient Experience at Jordan Valley Cancer Center
Patients at Jordan Valley Cancer Center have the benefit of receiving care from a variety of cancer specialists in West Jordan, UT. This integrative, well-rounded approach, managed by a Nurse Navigator, creates an opportunity for the best possible outcome. Instead of seeing only a medical oncologist or only a surgical oncologist, patients have the opportunity to see multiple specialists who work together to deliver the best therapy for each unique situation. Learn more by calling 801-601-2260.