What is Stomach Cancer?
Stomach cancer develops over the years from the inner surface of the stomach. Tissue changes that can be considered as precursors to cancer are also seen sequentially during this period before the cancer tissue develops. It is most common in men and around the age of 60-65 on average.
Tissue changes such as intestinal metaplasia, low-grade dysplasia, and later high-grade dysplasia are examples of such precancerous tissue changes. Since these precursor tissue changes do not cause any special complaints or symptoms, it is difficult to diagnose at these stages.
Different cancers can be seen according to the cell types contained in the stomach wall. However, 95% of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas originating from the inner surface epithelium of the stomach. Gastric adenocarcinomas are divided into intestinal type and diffuse type.
The interstellar type is more common and the prognosis, that is, the course of the disease, is relatively better. Diffuse adenocarcinoma, on the other hand, is rarer, but it progresses faster and responds more difficult to treatment.
Other tumor types that account for 5 percent of stomach cancers include gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), neuroendocrine tumors, lymphomas, lyemyosarcomas.
What are the complaints of Stomach Cancer?
Symptoms of stomach cancer may appear in different ways. It may also vary according to the areas of the tumor in the stomach that determine the complaints and findings.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bloating after eating
- Quick saturation
- Involuntary weight loss
It is recommended that people with such complaints consult a gastroenterology doctor for investigation.
What are the risk factors for developing stomach cancer?
It is more common in people aged 60 and over. M. Cancer tissue develops slowly over the years. The risk factors that facilitate this development are listed below.
- Having a family history of stomach cancer
- Presence of Helicobacter pylori infection
- Chronic long-term inflammation on the surface of the stomach
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease
- Stomach polyps
- High-salt and smoked foods
- Less consumption of vegetables and fruits
How is Stomach Cancer diagnosed?
Gastric endoscopy is the first test to be performed in people who are thought to have stomach cancer due to complaints. All surfaces are examined by entering the stomach with a flexible tube with a light source and camera at the end. Tissue biopsy samples are taken from suspicious areas and sent to the pathology laboratory.
It is also used to determine the extent of the disease in additional tests such as ultrasonography, computed tomography, MR imaging, and sometimes PET CT .
Why is staging important in stomach cancer?
Tumor staging is the process of determining whether gastric cancer involves only the stomach tissue or has spread to surrounding tissues and even distant organs.
Determining the stage of the tumor before treatment is used to decide which type of treatment will be used in the treatment or which treatments will be combined and which of them can increase the quality and duration of life with the least harm to the patient.
How is Stomach Cancer treated?
As with other types of cancer, it is aimed to provide a full cure in the treatment of stomach cancer, if possible, and to prolong the life span without impairing the quality of life of the patient as much as possible. The main treatment modalities used in the treatment of stomach cancer, taking into account the area where the tumor tissue is involved, its spread to the surrounding tissues, that is, the stage of the cancer, are as follows.
Surgery: It can provide complete recovery, especially in early-stage tumors that do not have limited spread to the stomach tissue.
Chemotherapy: It is done with chemical drugs that weaken to kill tumor cells.
Radiotherapy: It is a form of treatment that kills the tumor tissue by disrupting its organic structure with radiation beams.
Targeted therapy: it works by targeting some of the weak points of tumor cells.
Immunotherapy: It is one of the treatments that prevents the proliferation of tumor cells by activating immunological cells against the tumor in order to kill tumor cells.