Breast Cancer?What is Breast Cancer?Read more...
Bone CancerWhat is Bone Cancer?Read more...
Bladder CancerWhat is Bladder Cancer?Read more...
Blood CancerWhat is Blood Cancer ?Read more...
Cervical CancerWhat is Cervical Cancer ?Read more...
Colon CancerWhat is Colon Cancer?Read more...
Esophageal CancerWhat is Esophageal Cancer?Read more...
Gallbladder CancerWhat is Gallbladder Cancer?Read more...
Gastric CancerWhat is Gastric Cancer?Read more...
Head and Neck CancersWhat are Head and Neck Cancers?Read more...
Hormone TherapyWhat is Hormone Therapy?Read more...
IMRTIntensity Modulated Radiation TherapyRead more...
Kidney CancerWhat is Kidney Cancer?Read more...
Lung CancerWhat is Lung Cancer?Read more...
Liver CancerWhat is Liver Cancer?Read more...
Lymphoma CancerWhat is Lymphoma Cancer?Read more...
Oral CancerWhat is Oral Cancer?Read more...
Ovarian Cancer What is Ovarian Cancer?Read more...
Pancreatic CancerWhat is Pancreatic Cancer?Read more...
Prostate CancerWhat is Prostate Cancer?Read more...
Skin CancerWhat is Skin Cancer?Read more...
Uterine CancerWhat is Uterine Cancer?Read more...
What is Gastric Cancer?
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is a cancer that starts in the stomach.
After food is chewed and swallowed, it enters the esophagus, a tube that carries food through the neck and chest to the stomach. The esophagus joins the stomach at the gastroesophageal (GE) junction, which is just beneath the diaphragm (the thin sheet of breathing muscle under the lungs). The stomach is a sac-like organ that holds food and starts to digest it by secreting gastric juice. The food and gastric juice are mixed and then emptied into the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.
Some people use the word stomach to refer to the area of the body between the chest and the pelvic area. The medical term for this area is the abdomen. For instance, some people with pain in this area would say they have a “stomachache,” when in fact the pain could be coming from the appendix, small intestine, colon (large intestine), or other organs in the area. Doctors would call this symptom as abdominal pain, because the stomach is only one of many organs in the abdomen. Stomach cancer should not be confused with other cancers that can occur in the abdomen, like cancer of the colon (large intestine), liver, pancreas, or small intestine because these cancers may have different symptoms, different outlooks, and different treatments. The stomach has 5 parts -
The first 3 parts of the stomach (cardia, fundus, and body) are sometimes called the proximal stomach. Some cells in these parts of the stomach make acid and pepsin (a digestive enzyme), the parts of the gastric juice that help digest food. They also make a protein called intrinsic factor, which the body needs to absorb vitamin B12.
The lower 2 parts (antrum and pylorus) are called the distal stomach. The stomach has 2 curves, which form its inner and outer borders. They are called the lesser curvature and greater curvature, respectively. Other organs next to the stomach include the colon, liver, spleen, small intestine, and pancreas. The stomach wall has 5 layers -
The innermost layer is the mucosa. This is where stomach acid and digestive enzymes are made. Most stomach cancers start in this layer.
The layers are important in determining the stage (extent) of the cancer and in helping to determine a person’s prognosis (outlook). As a cancer grows from the mucosa into deeper layers, the stage becomes more advanced and the prognosis is not as good.
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GOD didn&rsuo;t add another day in your life because you needed it, he added it because someone out there needs you.
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Dear GOD, if today I lose my hope please remind me that your plans are better than my Dream.....
Types of Gastric Cancer
There are several types of stomach cancers, including -
Adenocarcinoma of the stomach - between 90% and 95% of all stomach cancers are of this type. The cancer develops from the cells that form the mucosa, the innermost lining of the stomach.
Lymphoma of the stomach - accounts for 4% of stomach cancers. Cancerous cells form in the immune tissue (lymphatic tissue) that is sometimes found in the wall of the stomach. Lymphatic tissue drains away fluid and helps fight infection.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) - rare tumors that form in the muscle or connective tissue of the stomach wall (interstitial cells of Cajal). Some of these tumors may be benign (non-cancerous). GISTs can also be found in other parts of the digestive tract.
Neuroendocrine tumors - the cancerous cells collect and form tumors in the hormone-making cells, usually in the digestive tract (including the stomach). This type of stomach cancer is rare; the most common is carcinoid tumor.
Other types of very rare cancer of the stomach include, squamous cell carcinoma, leiomyosarcoma, and small cell carcinoma.
Stomach Cancer Causes
Some of the causes include -
Stomach Cancer Symptoms
A symptom is something the patient feels and describes, such as a stomachache, while a sign is something others, including doctors and nurses can detect, such as a rash. There are several symptoms associated with stomach cancer. However, as they also exist in many other much less serious conditions and illnesses, gastric cancer may be difficult to recognize initially. That is why so many patients are not diagnosed until the disease is already advanced. Some of the early stomach cancer symptoms may include -
The following alarm signs and symptoms in people at increased risk of developing stomach cancer should be taken seriously (see a doctor) -
Stages of Stomach Cancer
Stage 1 - the tumor lies within the layer of tissue lining the inside of the stomach. Some cancer cells may have made their way to some nearby lymph nodes.
Stage 2 - the cancer has spread into the muscles of the stomach wall, as well as to more lymph nodes.
Stage 3 - the cancer cells may have spread through all the stomach layers, as well as into the lymph nodes. In some cases, the cancer has not spread much in the stomach, but has done so extensive into the lymph nodes.
Stage 4 - the cancer has spread well beyond the stomach, into nearby tissue and organs. It could also be a small cancer that has spread much further into distant parts of the body. Most patients are diagnosed at stage 3 - at this stage a complete cure is extremely rare. There are three Grades of stomach cancer:
Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer
Physical exam and history - an exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
Blood chemistry studies - a procedure in which a blood sample is checked to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs and tissues in the body. An unusual (higher or lower than normal) amount of a substance can be a sign of disease in the organ or tissue that produces it.
Complete blood count (CBC) - a procedure in which a sample of blood is drawn and checked for the following -
Upper endoscopy - a procedure to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine) to check for abnormal areas. An endoscope (a thin, lighted tube) is passed through the mouth and down the throat into the esophagus.
Barium swallow - a series of x-rays of the esophagus and stomach. The patient drinks a liquid that contains barium (a silver-white metallic compound). The liquid coats the esophagus and stomach, and x-rays are taken. This procedure is also called an upper GI series.
CT scan (CAT scan) - a procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a vein or swallowed to help the organs or tissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography.
Biopsy - the removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer. A biopsy of the stomach is usually done during the endoscopy. One or more of the following tests may be done on the samples of tissue that are removed:
Immunohistochemistry study - a laboratory test in which a substance such as an antibody, dye, or radioisotope is added to a sample of cancer tissue to test for certain antigens. This type of study is used to tell the difference between different types of cancer.
FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) - a laboratory technique used to look at genes or chromosomes in cells and tissues. Pieces of DNA that contain a fluorescent dye are made in the laboratory and added to cells or tissues on a glass slide. When these pieces of DNA bind to specific genes or areas of chromosomes on the slide, they light up when viewed under a microscope with a special light. The sample of blood or bone marrow is checked for HER2/neu to help decide the best treatment.
Treatment for Stomach Cancer
The treatment depends on the stage of the disease and how far the tumor has grown. The treatment options include -
Surgery - surgery is considered as the most common treatment for gastric cancer. Any of these two options can be performed for removing the cancer -
Radiation Therapy - Beams of energy, such as X-rays, are target at cancer cells - the aim is to destroy them. The patient lies on a table and a machine moves around directing energy beams into specific parts of the body. Radiotherapy is not commonly used for the treatment of stomach cancer because of the risk of harming other organs close to the body. However, if the cancer is advanced, for example, and causing bleeding or pain, radiotherapy is an option.
Chemotherapy - this therapy uses cancer destroying drugs for treating stomach cancer. When the cancer has invaded the stomach wall layers surrounding the lymph nodes and nearby organs then chemotherapy is given. For shrinking the tumor first, chemotherapy is given before the surgery. It can also be given after the surgery for destroying the remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also be combined with radiation therapy that provides relieves from many cancer symptoms and can also delay the recurrence of the cancer.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions".
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" - Dalai Lama