Friday, 9 December 2016

Gastric cancer

Gastric cancer
The stomach is part of the digestive system. It is a muscular, sac-like organ in the upper abdomen. In the stomach, the food is mixed with digestive juices. These juices are made by glands in the lining of the stomach. They help break the food down into a semi-solid mixture that then passes into the small intestine. Cells in the stomach sometimes change and no longer grow or behave normally. These changes may lead to non-cancerous, or benign, tumours such as gastric polyps, small gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) or lipomas.
In some cases, changes to stomach cells can cause cancer. Most often, cancer starts in gland cells in the inner layer of the stomach wall, which is called the gastric mucosa. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma of the stomach. It makes up about 95% of all stomach cancers.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the accumulation of an abnormal (malignant, cancerous) group of cells that form a mass in a part of the stomach. There are several symptoms associated with stomach cancer. However, as they also exist in many other much less serious conditions, gastric cancer may be difficult to recognize initially. It is for this reason that so many patients are not diagnosed until the disease is already well advanced.
Some things that seem to play a role in raising the risk include:
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • A diet high in smoked, pickled, or salty foods
  • Stomach surgery for an ulcer
  • Type-A blood
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • Certain genes
  • Working in coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries
  • Exposure to asbestos
Symptoms
Early gastric cancer has no associated symptoms; however, some patients with incidental complaints are diagnosed with early gastric cancer. Most symptoms of gastric cancer reflect advanced disease. All physical signs in gastric cancer are late events. By the time they develop, the disease is almost invariably too far advanced for curative procedures.
  • Indigestion
  • Feeling bloated after you eat a meal
  • Heartburn
  • Slight nausea
  • Loss of appetite
As stomach tumors grow, you may have more serious symptoms, such as:
  • Stomach pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Yellowish eyes or skin
  • Swelling in your stomach
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Weakness or feeling tired
  • Heartburn


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