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Stomach cancer awareness month

November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

Gastric cancer or Stomach Cancer Awareness Month is a global healthcare event for the awareness of gastric cancer, which is observed for the entire month of November. It’s a month full of care and love for those who need it. The Lavender blue-colored ribbon brings awareness and support to stomach c

Importance of stomach cancer awareness month

November is Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, a global effort for 12 years now. In 2023, an estimated 1,089,103 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2020. Stomach cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. 

November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

Stomach cancer awareness month
Gastric cancer or Stomach Cancer Awareness Month is a global healthcare event for the awareness of gastric cancer, which is observed for the entire month of November. It’s a month full of care and love for those who need it. The Lavender blue-colored ribbon brings awareness and support to stomach c

Importance of Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

November is Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, a global effort for 12 years now. In 2023, an estimated 1,089,103 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2020. Stomach cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world.

What are the risk factors (causes) for stomach cancer?

Several factors can increase one’s risk of developing stomach cancer, including:
Stomach cancer

⦿ H. pylori infection: This bacterial infection is a major risk factor for stomach cancer.

⦿ Diet: A diet high in processed meats, red meat, salted foods, and low in fruits and vegetables may increase the risk.

⦿ Smoking: Smoking significantly increases the risk of stomach cancer.

⦿ Family history: Having a family history of stomach cancer increases one’s risk.

⦿ Age: Stomach cancer is more common in older adults, particularly those over 50.

What are the risk factors (causes) for stomach cancer?

Several factors can increase one’s risk of developing stomach cancer, including:

⦿ H. pylori infection: This bacterial infection is a major risk factor for stomach cancer.

⦿ Diet: A diet high in processed meats, red meat, salted foods, and low in fruits and vegetables may increase the risk.

⦿ Smoking: Smoking significantly increases the risk of stomach cancer.

⦿ Family history: Having a family history of stomach cancer increases one’s risk.

⦿ Age: Stomach cancer is more common in older adults, particularly those over 50.

Stomach cancer

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

Early-stage stomach cancer often goes unnoticed, but as the cancer progresses, symptoms may include:
⦿ Indigestion or heartburn
⦿ Unexplained weight loss
⦿ Loss of appetite
⦿ Blood in the stool
⦿ Fatigue
Symptoms of stomach cancer
⦿ Indigestion or heartburn
⦿ Unexplained weight loss
⦿ Loss of appetite
⦿ Blood in the stool
⦿ Fatigue
Symptoms of stomach cancer

What are the locations of stomach cancer?

The location of stomach cancer is important for determining treatment options. For example, early-stage stomach cancer in the fundus may be treated with endoscopic resection, while more advanced cancer in the antrum may require surgery. Three main locations of stomach cancer are:
Locations of stomach cancer

Fundus: The fundus is the upper part of the stomach, located just below the esophagus. It is the most common site for early-stage stomach cancer.

Body: The body is the middle part of the stomach. It is where most stomach cancers develop.

Antrum: The antrum is the lower part of the stomach. It is where food is churned and mixed with digestive juices before it enters the small intestine.

Endoscopy + Biopsy

How is stomach cancer diagnosed?

Endoscopy + Biopsy

Endoscopy & Biopsy: 

If a suspicious-looking ulcer or growth is found on endoscopy, the biopsy will be done. 

A small sample of tissue is removed from the stomach lining and examined under a microscope to confirm the presence of cancer cells.
Play Video about Ca Stomach- Upper GI Endoscopy by Dr. Harsh Shah
Play Video about Carcinoma GEJ (Gastroesophageal Junction)- Upper GI Endoscopy by Dr. Harsh Shah

What is the staging of stomach cancer?

Staging stomach cancer is important for determining treatment options. There are several ways to stage stomach cancer, including:
Staging of stomach cancer
EUS - Stomach Cancer
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): EUS is an ultrasound examination that uses a thin, flexible tube with a sound wave emitter and receiver on the end. This tube is inserted down the throat and into the stomach to create detailed images of the stomach wall and nearby lymph nodes.
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): EUS is an ultrasound examination that uses a thin, flexible tube with a sound wave emitter and receiver on the end. This tube is inserted down the throat and into the stomach to create detailed images of the stomach wall and nearby lymph nodes.
Computed tomography (CT) scan: A CT scan is an X-ray that uses a computer to create detailed images of the inside of the body. CT scans can be used to see the size and location of the stomach cancer, as well as whether it has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
 
Positron emission tomography (PET) scan: A PET scan is a type of nuclear medicine imaging that uses a radioactive tracer to create images of the body. PET scans can be used to see if the stomach cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, or bones.

What are the stages of stomach cancer?

The stage of stomach cancer is important for determining treatment options and prognosis. Early-stage stomach cancer may be treated with surgery, while more advanced cancer may require surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.
Stages of stomach cancer
Here is a table for the stages of stomach cancer:
StageDescription
0Cancer is confined to the inner lining of the stomach.
1Cancer mucosal layer of the stomach wall.
2Cancer has grown into the muscle layer of the stomach wall.
3Cancer has grown through the outer lining of the stomach wall or into nearby lymph nodes.
4Cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, or bones.

What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?

The treatment approach for stomach cancer depends on the stage of the cancer, the patient’s overall health, and other factors. Treatment options may include:
Treatment options for stomach cancer

⦿ Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for stomach cancer. The type of surgery depends on the extent of the cancer.

⦿ Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy involves using drugs to destroy cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery or as the primary treatment. The most common mode of treatment is chemotherapy followed by surgery followed by chemotherapy.

⦿ Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery or to relieve symptoms in advanced-stage cancer.

⦿ Targeted therapy: These drugs target specific molecules involved in cancer cell growth and proliferation. They may be used in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

What is the survival rate for stomach cancer?

The survival rate for stomach cancer varies depending on the stage of diagnosis. If the cancer is diagnosed and treated before it has spread outside the stomach, the 5-year relative survival rate is 72%. If the cancer has spread to surrounding tissues or organs and/or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate is 33%. If the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the 5-year relative survival rate is 6%.

How can I reduce my risk of stomach cancer?

Preventative measures include:
⦿ Maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
⦿ Quitting smoking.
⦿ Limiting alcohol consumption.
⦿ Getting tested and treated for H. pylori infection.
⦿ Maintaining a healthy weight.
⦿ Getting screening upper endoscopy if positive family history.
Dr. Harsh Shah

Dr. Harsh Shah

Dr Harsh Shah is a specialized stomach cancer surgeon in Ahmedabad. He is practising at Apollo Hospital, Ahmedabad.

Dr. Harsh Shah

Dr. Harsh Shah

Dr Harsh Shah is a specialized stomach cancer surgeon in Ahmedabad. He is practising at Apollo Hospital, Ahmedabad.

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