Symptoms of stomach cancer can include sudden weight loss, decreased appetite, feeling full faster, and blood in the stool. The patient may also exhibit other signs of gastric cancer such as vomiting blood and feeling extremely tired.
Like other organs, the stomach can also be an area for the growth of cancer cells which is then called gastric cancer. Gastric cancer usually begins in the mucus-producing cells that line the stomach and is called adenocarcinoma. Being cancer that is difficult to “feel” in its early stages, what are the symptoms of gastric cancer?
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
Here are some symptoms of gastric cancer to watch out for:
1. Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite
Loss of appetite and weight is one of the most worrying symptoms of gastric cancer. You can lose weight suddenly even if you’re not on a diet.
2. Feel full faster
Another characteristic of gastric cancer is that the stomach feels full faster. This condition can occur even though your food intake is still small.
3. Blood in the stool
Stomach cancer can trigger the discharge of blood with feces. Patients with this cancer may also experience vomiting blood.
4. Changes in bowel habits
Another symptom of stomach cancer is a change in bowel habits. Sufferers may also experience recurrent diarrhea or unusual constipation.
5. Digestive problems that don’t go away
Patients with gastric cancer will also show symptoms in the form of digestive problems that do not go away. For example, the sufferer continues to experience nausea or abdominal discomfort that lasts for several days.
6. The body is excessively tired
Body fatigue can occur due to reduced blood from the body and unusual weight loss. Loss of blood can also lead to anemia which makes the body tired too much.
7. Suffering from indigestion like never before
Gastric cancer patients will show symptoms of indigestion that have never been experienced, such as stomach contents rising into the esophagus.
Symptoms of gastric cancer are often only felt after cancer goes into advanced phases. This means that many cases of gastric cancer are only known not at an early stage.
Causes and risk factors for gastric cancer
In general, cancer is caused by mutations that occur in the DNA of cells. These mutations cause cells to grow, divide, and continue to grow when normal cells die. The accumulated cancer cells form a tumor that can invade other nearby tissues. In the end, cancer cells can escape and move to various organs of the body.
The process of growth of gastric cancer cells above occurs slowly. Gastric cancer is one type of cancer that takes years to develop.
Several conditions can also be a risk factor for stomach cancer. These risk factors for stomach cancer include:
- Suffer from stomach acid disease or GERD
- Have excess weight
- Have a diet high in salty and smoked foods
- Suffering from Helicobacter pylori infection
- Experiencing stomach inflammation that occurs for a long time
- Suffering from pernicious anemia, which is anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency
- Have gastric polyps
- Stomach cancer treatment
- Have a family history of gastric cancer
If you experience the symptoms of gastric cancer above, you are advised to immediately see a doctor for a diagnosis. If the results of the diagnosis shows you have gastric cancer, the following treatment will be offered by the doctor:
If the patient’s stomach cancer has not spread, the doctor may perform surgery to remove the part of the stomach (and esophagus) where cancer appears. In addition, the lymph nodes around the cancer area will also be removed by the doctor. In some patients, surgery will be performed to remove all parts of the stomach. The esophagus will then be connected directly to the small intestine by a doctor.
In advanced stages, doctors may also offer surgery to relieve gastric cancer symptoms in patients. While surgery is not curative, it can reduce symptoms and make the patient a little more comfortable.
2. Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams of energy, such as X-rays and protons, to kill cancer cells. And Radiation therapy can be done before surgery (called neoadjuvant radiation) to shrink the tumor so it’s easier to remove – or done after surgery (called adjuvant radiation) to kill any cancer cells that may remain in the area around the patient’s esophagus or stomach.
Chemotherapy is cancer treatment using drugs to kill cancer cells. The Chemotherapy drugs spread throughout the patient’s body and kill any cancer cells that may have spread outside the stomach.
Like radiation therapy, chemotherapy can be given before surgery or after surgery. Chemotherapy is also often combined with radiation therapy. In severe cases, chemotherapy may also be given to relieve the symptoms of gastric cancer in sufferers.
Gastric cancer can potentially be treated with immunotherapy. This action aims to encourage the immune system to be able to attack and kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy is one of the breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer.
Reduce the risk of stomach cancer
Like other cancers, gastric cancer cannot be prevented. However, some healthy living steps can be taken to reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Some of the ways that can be done are:
Exercising. Regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables.
Reduce consumption of salty foods and smoked foods.
Quit smoking and stay away from cigarettes.
Perform periodic endoscopy as a diagnosis of gastric cancer regularly. Your doctor may also prescribe medication if you have a disease that increases your risk of stomach cancer.