What Does Stomach Cancer exactly mean?
In stomach cancer, cancer cells begin to form on the inner lining of stomach walls and then penetrate deeper into the walls of the stomach as cancer develops. In rare cases, tumors grow in nearby organs such as the pancreas and liver. It is the most common cancer globally but now less often in the United States.
The American Cancer Society estimated that over 27,510 cases of stomach cancer would be diagnosed this year.
It primarily affects older people. The average age group of people when they are diagnosed with this type of cancer is 68 years. Approximately six of every ten people get diagnosed with stomach cancer every year. The risk of developing stomach cancer is higher in men (about 1 in 96) than in females (about 1 in 152). But the risk of the person can be affected by several factors.
The cases have been steadily declining over the last few decades due to the widespread use of refrigerators that increased access to fresh food without any bacterial contamination and preservatives.
What do you need to know about Stomach Cancer?
Cancer has a significant impact on society in the United States and all across the globe. In 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 cases of different types of cancers will be diagnosed in the United States. The most common cancers are prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, bladder cancer, kidney and pelvis cancer, liver cancer, thyroid cancer, and stomach (gastric) cancer.
The American Cancer Society in 2021 estimated that about 2650 new cases of stomach cancer are found which are 16,160 in men and 10,400 in women. The mortality rate due to stomach cancer was 11,180, of which 6,740 were men and 4,440 were women.
Stomach cancer accounts for approximately 1.5 percent of all new cancers diagnosed in the USA each year. From the early 20th century, it was the leading cause of death from cancer in the USA, but in the current scenario, it is pretty down.
How can I recognize Stomach cancer?
Sometimes people mistake the signs of stomach cancer for stomach flu. It is essential to get aware of the symptoms of gastric cancer, especially when this disease is undetected until it is at an advanced stage. Its symptoms are similar to other conditions. Some common symptoms of stomach cancer include nausea, difficulty in swallowing, heartburn, weight loss, loss of appetite, bloating, feeling tired, and blood vomiting in an advanced stage.
When you experience these symptoms for several weeks, then you consult your doctor.
What are the risks associated with stomach cancer?
Several factors can increase the risk of stomach cancer. Some of these factors include:
- Age and gender: It mainly occurs in men than women and commonly affects people over 65 years.
- Genetic: It can be hereditary cancer that increases the risk of developing gastric cancer, such as nonpolyposis, colorectal cancer, and familial adenomatous polyposis. A person with a history of stomach cancer possibly caused by the E-cadherin mutation has a significant risk of developing the illness. Those who carry mutations of the inherited genes have a substantial risk of developing this type of cancer.
- Diet: The habit of eating excessive smokes and salted foods such as hot dogs and bacon increases the risk of gastric cancer. A deficiency of dietary minerals and selenium may also increase disease risk. It is most prevalent in Pacific islands, Asia, and the African populations.
- Other factors may include blood type A, obesity, and smoking. These factors can increase the risk of gastric cancer.
How can I diagnose my stomach cancer?
There are multiple tests available that are used to diagnose stomach cancer. Some of these tests include:
Upper Gastrointestinal examination or GI
This test is commonly known as a barium swallow. In this test, patients have to drink a special barium fluid. It coats inside the digestive system organs to make them visible on x-rays. The experts then evaluate these x-rays.
It creates a computer image of the stomach, esophagus, and other related lymph nodes. Doctors insert a surgical instrument to take a sample for testing, also called a biopsy. It is a standard testing technique for various types of cancers.
CT scan or CAT scan
It is a non-invasive test that uses x-rays and computer technology to give a detailed image of the stomach organs.
This process is done with a lighted, flexible, thin endoscopic tube. This tube is guided through the mouth and throat and then into the esophagus: stomach and duodenum. Experts can see inside your stomach area through this tube and take a tissue sample for testing.
What are the other types of stomach diseases?
Stomach diseases or disorders are groups of conditions that occur due to the dysfunction of the digestive system. Experts split them into two different categories, organic and functional stomach disorders.
- Organic disorders occur when structural abnormalities in the digestive system prevent it from working efficiently. On the other hand, active infections happen when the gastrointestinal tract appears to be structurally normal but still does not function efficiently.
- Other stomach disease types include irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and small intestinal bacterial syndrome. The less common stomach disorders include achalasia, Hirschsprung disease, and menetrier disease.
Although the cases of stomach cancer are reduced in the United States, it can be fatal and life-threatening if not treated at the right time. It becomes necessary to take care of stomach health, especially when this disease is undetectable until it is advanced.
To prevent yourself from stomach cancer, try to maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking, do regular exercises and eat diets full of fruits and vegetables. If you notice any symptoms of stomach cancer or stomach disease, visit your doctor without any delay.