Dec 6, 2022

What are the first warning signs of stomach cancer?

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Stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer worldwide, with new and new people getting diagnosed daily. Cancer is a deadly disease that is responsible for several deaths worldwide. To avoid cancer, one must follow a good lifestyle and healthy habits. Also, regular checkups are important to understand if you have any problems. You can visit the Credihealth website to get a list of gastroenterologists in Kolkata. Let us check in this article the first warning signs of stomach cancer.

Table of contents:

  1. What is stomach cancer, and what causes stomach cancer?
  2. What are the different stages of stomach cancer?
  3. What are the first warning signs of stomach cancer?
  4. When to visit a doctor?
  5. How does a doctor detect stomach cancer at an early stage?
  6. How to prevent stomach cancer at an early stage?
  7. Conclusion

What is stomach cancer, and what causes stomach cancer?

  • Stomach cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that begins in the stomach.
  • Stomach cancer can grow in any part of the stomach.
  • Stomach cancer treatment is most effective if the cancer is only present in the stomach and not in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Stomach cancer that spreads to other body parts is difficult to cure. 

The causes of stomach cancer are:

  • Infection in the stomach
  • Acid reflux
  • Eating an excess of salty food
  • Smoking tobacco 
  • Being overweight
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Inflammation in the stomach
  • Family history of stomach cancer

What are the different stages of stomach cancer?

  • The severity of the cancer growth decides the different stages of stomach cancer.
  • A type of stomach cancer called Adenocarcinoma is classified and evaluated based on the Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) method where:
  • T: How deep has the tumor invaded the stomach wall
  • N: If the stomach cancer has spread to the lymph nodes
  • M: if the stomach cancer has spread to other body parts.

The tumor classifications are differentiated into different stages as follows:

  • Stage 0 is the early stage of cancer on the surface of the stomach lining.
  • Stage 1A or 1B cancer has not yet spread to the thick stomach walls.
  • In stage 2A or 2B, cancer has spread to the deeper stomach wall.
  • Stage 3A or 3B, or 3C is the stage in which the lymph node is involved.
  • Stage 4 is when cancer has metastasized outside the stomach.

What are the early or first warning signs of stomach cancer?

Early warning signs play an important role in understanding that something is wrong with your body. The early warning signs of stomach cancer include:

  • Nausea
  • Change in appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Weight loss
  • Low hemoglobin
  • Feeling of fullness in your upper abdominal area after eating small portions of food
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Vomiting 
  • Some patients with stomach cancer show symptoms of vomiting, which has blood. 

These are the early signs of stomach cancer; it is better to get consulted by the doctor as soon as possible. 

  • Any unexplained symptoms should be informed to the doctor.
  • What are the signs and symptoms that can mimic stomach cancer?
  • If you are experiencing these signs and symptoms, it does not mean you have stomach cancer. These symptoms can also occur in peptic ulcers, gastritis, or other gastrointestinal conditions. 
  • It is thus important to get diagnosed by a doctor, and it should be managed in time.

Can your stomach cancer go undetected?

  • Yes, stomach cancer can go undetected if you do not experience any warning signs in your early stages. Even if you experience warning signs, they are very vague in diagnosing it as stomach cancer.

When to visit a doctor?

  • When you think you are experiencing any of the early signs of stomach cancer, you should check and visit a doctor for advice.
  • Based on the signs, your doctor will prognose based on the type and stage of cancer. 
  • Other factors like their age and health are also taken into consideration. 
  • Stomach cancer treatment is the most effective when it is detected in the early stages. 

How will your doctor detect stomach cancer at an early stage?

Once you have consulted a doctor and informed them about your signs and symptoms, the doctor may ask you to perform the following procedures to be sure. The tests include

  • A complete physical examination and medical history
  • CT scan to get a visual of the organs
  • Ultrasound to diagnose and treat stomach cancer at an early stage
  • PET scans can be used to only display cancer cells.
  • Depending on the reports of the tests mentioned above, the doctor would prescribe a further mode of treatment to you.

How can you prevent stomach cancer at an early stage?

If you feel like you are experiencing some early symptoms of stomach cancer, then you can make some changes in your lifestyle to prevent and lower the risk of stomach cancer:

  • Stop smoking, as it increases the risk of many types of cancer.
  • Inform your doctor if there is a history of stomach cancer in your family.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables which have fibers and help in cleansing the stomach
  • Avoid junk food and salty foods and protect your stomach from stomach cancer.
  • Following a regular eating and drinking pattern also helps prevent stomach cancer before it advances.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can stomach cancer be fatal?

  • Yes, stomach cancer can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. If it is detected early, then it is curable.
  • The problem with stomach cancer is that it is usually not diagnosed until it has spread to later stages. Only 1 in 5 people survive.

What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?

If you are diagnosed with stomach cancer and are looking at treatments, here are your options

  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Targeted Therapy

What are the types of stomach cancer?

Different types of stomach cancer, like Adenocarcinoma, comprise more than 90% of all stomach cancers. 

  • Lymphomas  
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
  • Neuroendocrine cancer

Does stomach cancer affect women and men differently?

  • Men are more likely to develop stomach cancer. 
  • Men have a lifetime risk of 1 in 95 developing stomach cancer, while women have 1 in 155 risks.
  • The early signs in both men and women are the same.

Can diet treat your stomach cancer?

  • Diet can ultimately help reduce cancer symptoms, but it cannot completely cure cancer. 
  • Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet can help to decrease the risk of stomach cancer. 

Conclusion –

Stomach cancer is cancer that starts in the gastrointestinal tract and then starts spreading in the body. The early signs to detect you have stomach cancer include loss or change in appetite, nausea, blood in vomit, weight gain or loss, abdominal pain, and Feeling bloated even after you had a small portion of food. You should inform your doctor if you experience any of these signs without any other reason or event. To get more information about gastroenterologists in Kolkata, visit the credihealth website.

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