Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Treated by Mercy's Team of Specialists
At Mercy a team of specialists, including gastroenterologists, surgical oncologists and medical oncologists, works to diagnose and treat stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer. Patients across the region seek Mercy’s doctors, who are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases and cancers.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a cancer that forms malignant tumors in the lining of the stomach. The most common type of gastric cancer is adenocarcinoma. Lymphoma, the other type of stomach cancer, occurs within the blood vessels, fat and muscles of the stomach.
If diagnosed early, stomach cancer may be curable. However, most often, it is found in a late stage and the prognosis is poor.
What are the risks factors for stomach (gastric) cancer?
Men are more at risk than women of getting stomach cancer. If you have a family history of gastric cancer, your risk is doubled. Other risk factors associated with stomach cancer include:
- African American or Asian descent
- Geographic location
- Diets low in fruits and vegetables
- Abuse of alcohol and tobacco
- Blood type A
- Chronic health conditions (gastritis, gastric polyps)
- H pylori infection of the stomach
- Pernicious anemia
Stomach cancer symptoms often do not occur early in the cancer process, making it hard to diagnose early. By the time stomach cancer symptoms appear, the cancer may have spread to other areas.
Early stomach (gastric) cancer symptoms may include:
- Feeling bloated after a meal
- Loss of hunger
Because these symptoms are similar to peptic ulcers it is essential to seek care from your doctor for treatment. In late stages, gastric cancer symptoms may involve:
- Pain in the middle and upper stomach
- Pain after eating a meal
- Blood in the stools and vomit
- Loss of weight
Your doctor will perform a physical and discuss your medical history. A series of tests and procedures may be used to diagnose gastric (stomach) cancer including:
- Blood tests including CBC or a complete blood count and fecal
- Upper endoscopy
- Barium swallow
- CT Scan
Stomach cancer treatment options depend on the stage of cancer. If the stomach cancer is contained to the stomach lining, an endoscopic mucosal resection can be performed using an endoscope to remove the cancer.
In other cases, it may be necessary to surgically remove either a portion of the stomach or the entire stomach. Radiation and chemotherapy or a combination of both therapies may be needed prior to or after stomach cancer surgery.
Advanced stomach cancer treatment options may include:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drugs
- Clinical trials