More than seven people in every group of around 100,000 are diagnosed with stomach cancer yearly. Out of these people, at least three die from the effect of the diseases. Stomach cancer is prevalent in men and women equally, and per the study done in 2017, it was a worldwide disease causing more than 110,000 people to get affected.
To understand the first warning signs of stomach cancer, you must understand what challenges the disease poses to normal human living. In 2020, the National Cancer Institute estimated at least 1.5% of new cases of stomach cancer. It was estimated that around 1.8% of people died from the disease.
Stomach cancer affects men & women differently and is the kind of disease that is difficult to diagnose. The disease mimics the crucial stage making it difficult to understand the traits and illnesses. If you or anyone you know intends to connect with any doctor for stomach cancers, you can connect with your nearby Gastroenterologist in Hyderabad.
What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, occurs when the healthy cells of the human body are replaced by the cancer cells in the stomach lining. The stomach is located directly below the oesophagus, and the tube connects it with the intestine, where the food goes directly after it is swallowed. The stomach is one part of the digestive tract that helps to move nutrients through the gut into the small intestine.
Stomach cancer is a type of slow-growing disease which can take at least years to develop. Stomach cancer and unhealthy cancer cells develop when the cells in the stomach lining grow out of control in the mucosa of the stomach lining. This collection of cancer cells develops and forms a mass-like structure called a tumour, which spreads to the different layers of the stomach and the body over time.
Are there any different types of stomach cancer?
Yes. Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the name of cancer that develops specifically in the stomach. There are different types of stomach cancer, and these are-
Adenocarcinoma: It is one of the most common types of stomach cancer that spreads to at least 90 per cent of the stomach. The other type in this category is carcinoma stomach cancer which spreads or retains to the innermost lining of the stomach.
Lymphoma: Cancer of the immune system that accounts for 4% of all stomach cancer, which is not from the mucosa of the stomach lining. It is broken up into primary and secondary lymphoma of the stomach.
Primary lymphoma: It is the type of cancer which affects the lymph nodes, bone marrow and other parts of the human body or the patient’s body.
Secondary lymphoma: During the initial stage of this cancer type, the cells develop into the circulating blood, lymph nodes, bone marrow and other organs. And later, the cancer cells spread to the stomach.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor: It is the kind of soft tissue sarcoma which further grows in the stomach’s connective tissue.
Neuroendocrine cancer: This one is also known as a carcinoid tumour and is called neuroendocrine cancer. This stomach cancer originates from cells in the intestine’s endocrine and nervous systems.
What stages are involved in forming stomach cancer in the human body?
The first warning signs of stomach cancer depend on how severe the condition is and how the cancerous cells are growing & spreading. During the initial stage, people are impacted by Adenocarcinoma, which develops and is evaluated by the tumour, node metastasis (TNM) system. At this stage, the doctor tries to collect the information regarding each step, i.e, –
T: how deeply the cancer cells have spread to the stomach walls?
N: how do the stomach cancer cells spread to the lymph nodes?
M: Is there any possibility that the stomach cancer cells will spread to the other body parts in future? Or have the cancer cells spread to the other body parts?
After the Gastroenterologist in Hyderabad collects the TNM information, the cancer type is staged by the doctor from 0 to 4. This staging depends on the classification of the spreading of the tumor, which can be depicted below-
Stage 0– The early stage of stomach cancer is where the cancer cells spread to the stomach lining.
Stage 1A or 1B
Stage 2A or 2B– It is the stage where the cells penetrate deeper into the stomach wall.
Stage 3A or 3B or 3C– It is the stage where the cancer cells get attached to the lymph node(s).
Stage 4– It is the particular stage where the cancer cells start metastasising and develop somewhere outside the stomach area.
What are the main reasons behind the occurrence of stomach cancer?
There is no single reason behind the occurrence of stomach cancer. It may happen without any known reason, cause, or risk factor. Sometimes, lifestyle choices can hinder the choice of the human being and may lead him or her to develop cancer-like hard-to-treat diseases. People may suffer from long-term stomach inflammation due to lifestyle changes or chronic illnesses at high risk.
The first warning signs of stomach cancer depend on how deeply the stomach cancer has been evaluated in the human body. Indeed, it is cancer-related to the person’s medical history and may include-
- H. pylori bacterial infections: It is one of the common stomach infections that is the main reason behind the formation of stomach ulcers.
- Tumors: These depict the occurrence of the stomach tumour elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stomach polyps: This refers to abnormal tissue growth in the human body during the initial stage of stomach cancer.
- Stomach reflux (GERD)
Lifestyle changes can further make a person decrease the risk of stomach cancer. These lifestyle changes may include-
- Quitting smoking,
- A healthy diet,
- Avoiding processed foods,
- Avoiding Smoked foods or meat,
- Decreasing the intake of salts and sodium-rich food, and
- Maintaining physical strength by performing or indulging in a little exercise
What are the early warning signs of stomach cancer?
The first warning signs of stomach cancer are vague and may include a lot of the body’s reaction against the food intake and the food extraction from the body. The early signs may include-
- changes in appetite,
- nausea, and
There can also be other warning signs which may include-
- Vomiting, with or without blood
- Change in appetite,
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Discomfort in or above the level of the navel
- Pain in the stomach
- Upper abdominal fullness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Anemia or lower level of hemoglobin
It is important to get yourself diagnosed with the riks causing factors of stomach cancer above the age of 55. The disease is commonly prevalent in aged people above 60s or 70s. While staying active against the first warning signs of stomach cancer is crucial, men are likely to develop stomach cancer more often than women. However, the risk is typically not different in both men & women.