The stomach is a hollow dilated organ of the digestion system. It is Located below the diaphragm (the muscular septum that separates the chest from the abdomen).Its Main function is to store food and to start the process of digestion. The inner lining (mucosa) is rich in mucous glands. Gastric cancer arising from the glandular cells is called adenocarcinoma and is the most frequent type of stomach cancer.
Other types of cancer that occur more rarely are:
- Lymphoma (from the lymphoid tissue of the stomach, which is part of the immune system)
- GIST (stromal tumors arising from the muscle layer of the stomach
- Carcinoids (tumors from the neuroendocrine cells of the stomach that produce hormones)
Main symptoms of gastric cancer
- Weakness, fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Indigestion, bloating
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea, vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Consumption of Smoked and salted foods
- Diet low in fiber
- Family history
- Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori)
- Smoking, drinking
- Chronic gastritis
- Previous surgery on the stomach
The diagnosis of stomach cancer is done by:
- Gastroscopy It is the most common test. A thin flexible tube with a light source is inserted through the mouth, providing vision of the inner lining of the stomach and allowing biopsy samples to be taken.
- Barium swallow radiograph The Patient drinks barium- a contrast agent-and then air is insufflated. X-rays are taken showing the relief of the gastric lining, tracking deficits or bulges.
- C / T scan it may reveal the stomach cancer but is also able to detect possible metastasis to adjacent or distant organs.
The main treatment for gastric cancer is surgical resection (excluding lymphoma). The goal of surgery is to remove all of the stomach cancer and lymph nodes with a margin of healthy tissue. Depending on the location, the extent and the type of cancer total or subtotal gastrectomy is performed.
The continuity of gastrointestinal track is restored with the small intestine.
Radiation therapy is used after surgery (adjuvant radiation) to kill any cancer cells that might remain around the stomach.
Radiation therapy can be used before surgery (neoadjuvant radiation) to shrink a stomach tumor so it’s more easily removed.
Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that kills cancer cells that may have spread beyond the stomach.
Chemotherapy can be given preoperatively ( to shrink the gastric tumor) or postoperatively (to kill any cancer cells that might remain in the body).
It is often combined with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy may be used alone in people with advanced stomach cancer to help relieve signs and symptoms.