Stomach is a hollow muscular sac like organ that plays a major role in the digestion of food. It is located in the left upper part of the abdomen just below the ribs. Stomach receives and holds the food and starts to digest it by secreting gastric juice. The food and gastric juice are mixed and then emptied into the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum.
A recent study conducted by Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) on cancer mortality in India has revealed that Stomach Cancer is the second biggest killer in India. An approximation of 22,200 men and 27,500 women die of Gastric Cancer every year in India. Experts revealed that this high rate of Stomach Cancer is contributed by unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
In many places in India the diet is low in fibre content. Spicy food and lots of non-vegetarian food can cause the chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, which if left untreated can turn cancerous.
Most Stomach (Gastric) cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread too far to be cured, but sometimes, we do get symptoms at an early stage.
The definite causatives of Stomach Cancer are yet under study. However, there is a strong correlation between a diet high in smoked and salted foods and Stomach Cancer.
Throughout these years of analysis and diagnosis of the disease certain risk factors have been identified that highly increases the probability of the occurrence of the disease. Some of them are discussed below:
Stomach Cancer is more common in men than in women.
The risk of Stomach Cancer increases with increasing age. Most people diagnosed with Stomach Cancer are between their late 60s and 80s.
It is a major cause of Stomach Cancer, especially cancers in the lower (distal) part of the stomach. Every one in three Stomach Cancer cases can be attributed to H pylori infection.
People who have had a certain type of lymphoma of the stomach known as mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma have an increased risk of getting adenocarcinoma of the stomach.
Stomach Cancers are more likely to develop in people who have had part of their stomach removed to treat non-cancerous diseases such as ulcers.
Tobacco usage is the major cancer causative. The rate of Stomach Cancer is almost doubled in smokers.
This very rare inherited condition reduces the ability of skin cells to repair DNA damage caused by sun exposure.
Excess growth of the stomach lining causes large folds in the lining and leads to low levels of stomach acid. This is a rare condition that accounts to Stomach Cancer.
People with this syndrome are at greatly increased risk of getting colorectal cancer and have a slightly increased risk of getting Stomach Cancer.
Certain cells in the stomach lining normally make a substance called intrinsic factor (IF) that we need to absorb vitamin B12 from foods. People without enough IF may end up with a vitamin B12 deficiency, which affects the body’s ability to make new red blood cells and can cause other problems as well. This condition is called pernicious anemia. Along with anemia (too few red blood cells), people with this disease have an increased risk of Stomach Cancer.
If you have any of the above symptoms, please get yourself checked. It may be noting, but it’s best to be sure!
Stomach Cancer can be prevented to an extent by avoiding the risk factors. One can lower the risk of developing Stomach Cancer by
Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
Cancer stage at diagnosis highly determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. The earlier Stomach Cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving.
Since people with Stomach Cancer rarely show symptoms in the early stages, the disease is often not diagnosed until it’s more advanced.
However, with the advancement in science and technology a few tests and procedures aids in locating the disease at an early stage. Some of the tests are:
This is dependent on te stage the Cancer has reached. However, the Cancer is usually in an advanced stage when it is diagnosed. In such cases, it can be treated, but rarely cured.
If you have any of the symptoms, please do visit the doctor.
If you feel any of the symptoms mentioned in the Symptoms section , you should probably visit a doctor. You can also get your genetic make-up checked to see if you are prone to Stomach (Gastric) cancer or not.