Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancers. Most often, tumors of the stomach are diagnosed at stage 3-4, only when serious symptoms appear. As a rule, by this time cancer cells are already spreading about the human body and metastases appear in lymph nodes or other organs.
How common is the disease?
In Ukraine, according to the National Cancer Register data, among all cancers, gastric cancer ranks fourth in terms of morbidity and second in mortality among men; in women, respectively, in eighth and third place.
Tumors are most often found over the age of 60, but can occur in young people, especially when there is a family history. More often people with II blood group are ill.
The most important factors causing the development of gastric cancer are:
∙ genetic disposition;
∙ frequent consumption of smoked, salted, pickled products, a large amount of nitrates, starch in food;
∙ smoking, alcohol;
∙ malnutrition, overweight;
∙ an infection in the stomach, known as Helicobacter pylori;
∙ medical states, including chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, malignant anemia.
What are the symptoms?
In the early stages, the patient does not suspect that he fell ill. Common symptoms such as fatigue, heartburn and diarrhea may occur.
As the tumor grows, a feeling of rapid satiety (after taking a few spoons of food), problems with swallowing, vomiting, weight loss comes. Later, pain in the stomach, radiating to the back, an increase in the abdomen, black stools, vomiting with blood.
How is it diagnosed?
Basic information about gastric cancer is obtained through gastroscopy. This is an endoscopic examination, during which a flexible tube, equipped with a miniature camera, is inserted through the mouth.
An endoscopist who performs diagnostics attentively studies the mucosal surface in search of the smallest deviation from the norm. Upon necessity tissue samples are taken from suspicious areas, which are then sent for histological examination.
Endoscopy in LISOD is performed under full painkilling, the patient does not feel discomfort. Besides, during this procedure, a rapid test for the presence of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria is carried out.
If a biopsy confirms the presence of cancer, the doctors will conduct additional examinations to clarify the diagnosis and get all the necessary information for making a treatment plan.
Most often CT with contrast is performed for this purpose. PET-CT can more accurately show a tumor and even small metastases, this is a study which is the “gold standard” for diagnosing of patients with cancer diagnosis in Europe and Israel, and is successfully used in LISOD.
Endoscopic USI may also be prescribed, which allows to evaluate the depth of the tumor penetration into the stomach wall and the state of lymph nodes around it.
What does the treatment include?
The treatment offered to the patient depends on the type of tumor diagnosed, its spread, concomitant diseases and the patient's age. The greatest chances to recover completely are with those patients, whose disease was detected at an early stage and who underwent surgery
A surgery for gastric cancer is called gastrectomy. The patient can be offered a complete gastrectomy – that is, the removal of the entire organ. If the tumor is in the lower part, a distal gastrectomy will be offered, that is, removal of the lower part of the stomach. In LISOD, abdominal surgeries are performed using the low-impact method – laparoscopy. Patients recover quickly after such surgery and may undergo further treatment.
Chemotherapy is often prescribed for gastric cancer. It prevents recurrence after surgery, and is also prescribed to reduce the tumor or stop its growth.
Good results are shown by the use of targeted therapy - drugs that target the tumor cells.
Is prevention possible?
Prevent the disease is possible due to compliance with the diet. The use of a minimum amount of salted, canned and smoked products is recommended. Whereas there should be a lot of fruit and vegetables in the diet.
An active lifestyle, quitting smoking and alcohol are important steps in prevention gastric cancer. But no less important is the identification and treatment of precancerous states (chronic gastritis, stomach polyposis).
After 45, it is necessary to undergo regular screening examination - gastroscopy. Only such a diagnosis can detect the disease at an early stage and successfully cure it.
Register for consultation or screening in LISOD:
0 (800) 500-110 – free-of-charge over Ukraine;
+38(044) 277-8-277 – on daily basis from 09:00 am till 08:00 pm.