Everything You Need To Know About Stomach Cancer Treatment

In stomach cancer, cancer cells in the stomach grow in an uncontrolled way. Cancer can develop anywhere in in stomach. In 95% of the cases, stomach cancer begins in the stomach lining and expands slowly from there. If not treated, it can form a tumor and grows deeper into the stomach walls. The tumor could spread to adjacent organs such as the liver and pancreas. Here, we will look at various aspects of stomach cancer, such as what is stomach cancer, what are the causes and symptoms of stomach cancer, how to diagnose stomach cancer, what are the treatments of stomach cancer, who are the best doctors for stomach cancer in India, and which are the top hospitals for stomach cancer in India.

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Review By Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui
Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd

Mar 4, 2024

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Table Of Index

What is stomach cancer?

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer occurs in the stomach because of the abnormal growth of cells. This is also called gastric cancer. This cancer can happen in any part of the stomach. The position of stomach cancer determines the treatment plan. Stomach cancer can grow into other parts of the body such as the liver, lymph nodes, bones and lungs. Different sections of the stomach can cause different symptoms and hence varying results. It might take several years for the growth of stomach cancer. Although stomach cancer can be difficult to diagnose as well as treat, it is crucial to have the knowledge about how to manage the disease.

Types of stomach cancer

Carcinoid tumors: These tumors start in the neuroendocrine cells that are found in several places in the body. They carry out nerve cell functions and some of the work of cells which produce hormones. Carcinoid tumor is a type of neuroendocrine tumor.

Adenocarcinoma: This cancer starts in mucus producing cells and is the most common type of stomach cancer. Most cancers that begin in the stomach are adenocarcinoma stomach cancers.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumors. This cancer begins in special nerve cells found in the wall of the stomach and some other digestive organs. This is a kind of soft tissue sarcoma.

Lymphoma: Lymphoma starts in immune system cells and can sometimes begin in the stomach when immune system cells are sent to the stomach. Most lymphomas that begin in the stomach are generally a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Causes and Symptoms

Causes

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Age of over 60
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori
  • Diet with high in pickled, smoked and salted food
  • Heartburn
  • Black stools

Symptoms

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Indigestion
  • Pain in the chest while swallowing
  • Bloating, flatulence
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty eating
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Tiredness, fatigue

Diagnosis

Upper endoscopy: It is commonly used to detect stomach cancer. In this procedure, a thin tube is inserted with a tiny camera into the stomach. A tissue sample is tested in a lab for cancer cells.

Endoscopic ultrasound: This endoscopy can help stage the cancer. An ultrasound probe is attached to the endoscope, that can capture pictures of the stomach. It can reveal whether cancer has spread from the stomach linings to the stomach wall.

Radiologic tests: Tests such as CT scan, MRI and barium swallow can help detect tumors. During a barium swallow, a substance is used to make the stomach lining more visible on X-rays. A PET scan can reveal whether cancer has spread in your body.

Blood tests: These can tell how various organs are functioning. Poor organ functions indicate that cancer has grown to that organ.

Laparoscopy: It is a type of surgery which lets your provider assess cancer spread when less invasive methods do not provide enough information.

Risk & Complications

Bleeding: Surgery can lead to bleeding, either during the procedure or afterward. Excessive bleeding may require additional interventions or blood transfusions.

Infection: Surgical sites are susceptible to infections. Antibiotics are typically administered before and after surgery to minimize this risk.

Pneumonia: As a result of general anesthesia, patients may be at risk of developing pneumonia. This risk can be reduced through measures such as deep breathing exercises and early mobilization.

Blood clots: Long periods of inactivity during and after surgery can increase the risk of blood clots forming. Measures such as early ambulation and blood-thinning medications may be employed to prevent this complication.

Leakage from the surgical site: After a gastrectomy, there is a risk of leakage from the connections made during the surgery, which can lead to infection and other complications. Careful surgical techniques and monitoring are crucial to minimize this risk.

Digestive complications: Removal of part or all of the stomach can lead to changes in digestion. Patients may experience difficulty absorbing nutrients, leading to malnutrition. Nutritional support and dietary adjustments are often necessary.

Dumping syndrome: Rapid emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine, known as dumping syndrome, can occur after surgery. This can result in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

Weight loss: Following stomach cancer surgery, patients may experience significant weight loss, which can affect overall health and quality of life. Nutritional support and dietary counseling may be required.

Postoperative pain: Pain is a common complication after surgery. Proper pain management strategies are important to enhance recovery and reduce discomfort.

Complications from anesthesia: Anesthesia comes with its own set of risks, including allergic reactions, respiratory issues, and adverse reactions to medications.

Preparation of Treatment

Lifestyle changes like smoking cessation and following a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Treatment of H. pylori infection may also cut the risk of stomach cancer.

Remaining aware about family history and discussing it with the doctor can help determine if a person is at risk for inherited cancer syndromes. In case you have a family history of stomach cancer, genetic counseling can be done. Regular screening helps in detecting early-stage stomach cancer. Maintaining a healthy body body weight might help reduce the risk. Regular physical activities will also improve your mental as well as emotional health. Quitting alcohol can also lower your risk. Research has revealed that aspirin may raise the chances of developing stomach cancer.

There are several ways you can help prepare physically as well as emotionally for stomach cancer treatment. After your surgery is scheduled, you will have to undergo pre-surgical testing. Tell your doctors about all prescriptions, supplements and over-the-counter medications that you are taking. You will need stop taking certain medications one week before the surgery because of the risk of bleeding. You will need to have a clear liquid diet for twenty hours before surgery. You should stop smoking before surgery as you might not respond well to the treatment. Your dietitian will suggest ways to maintain your healthy weight during treatment.
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Treatment Option

Gastrectomy: In this procedure, parts of the stomach or the whole organ is removed along with the removal of nearby lymph nodes.

Chemotherapy: This procedure uses medications that reduces the size of cancer cells using drugs.

Radiation Therapy: It uses radiation to kill cancer cells. This treatment applies to few patients with stomach cancer.

Targeted Therapy: This procedure uses certain drugs that alters a cancer cell's proteins or genetic information that help the tumors grow and spread.

Immunotherapy: This approach uses the patient’s immune system to fight off cancer. Medications are given to promote the immune system to fight against cancer.

Cost of the treatment

Cost of stomach cancer treatment

Stomach cancer treatment cost in India ranges from $2700 to $6500. Stomach cancer treatment cost in India varies with cities and hospitals. Stomach cancer treatment cost in India is affordable than that in several other countries such as the UK, US, UAE and Turkey. Low cost of stomach cancer treatment in India is an important reason for a large number of inteational patients traveling to the country to seek the treatment. Other reasons include the best stomach cancer treatment hospitals in India and top cancer doctors.

Recovery

Recovery after stomach cancer treatment

Your recovery process will depend on the type of surgery you undergo and how much of the stomach is removed. Factors about your health and the cancer treatment progress may also affect recovery after surgery. You will need to spend around 3 days in the hospital after surgery, and your total recovery may take nearly 3 to 6 months. You will resume normal eating in 3-6 months after surgery. It is crucial to make some adjustments to your diet following stomach cancer surgery. As your stomach will be either partially or completely removed, you should many small meals throughout the day to make digestion easier and prevent painful symptoms.

Recovery
Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Written by

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui

Award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd

Dr. Mohammad Afzal Siddiqui is an award-winning CEO of Marlin Medical Assistance Pvt. Ltd., a professionally managed medical tourism holding company and the active Director of Alshifa Healthcare Services Pvt. Ltd., a full-service medical tourism aggregation agency servicing JCI and NABH/ NABL accredited Hospitals across the country’s 5 locations.

In addition to Marlin, Alshifa also includes Media Group, which houses Arabic Medical Tourism e-Magazine healthandtour.com. The E-magazine “مجلة الصحة والسياحة” provides a wide scope of medical tourism information to healthcare travellers to find a safe, effective and cost-saving solution for their medical and healthcare needs. In addition to running E-Magazine, Dr. Mohammad Afzal also serves as Delhi-state coordinator in Foundation of Healthcare and Wellness Promotion focused on bringing India’s Healthcare closer to the world and smoothen world’s access to Indian Healthcare.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stomach Cancer

Studies have showed that tumors almost double in size every 1.5–9.5 years. Doubling times in advanced stomach cancer between 105 and 305 days suggests that advanced cancer could progress more rapidly

In stage 4, cancer spreads to many other parts of the body like the lungs, distant lymph nodes, liver, and the tissue lining the abdomen wall. Stage 4 stomach cancer is also known as metastatic stomach cancer.

Stomach can cause lower back pain. Depending on the cancer’s position, the tumours might press against nerves and nearby organs, or it can obstruct your digestive tract, causing back pain.

A family history of stomach cancer could raise the risk of some types of stomach cancer. Nearly 1-3% of stomach cancers are hereditary.

Stomach ulcers are generally caused by an infection of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria is a risk factor for stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer is slow-growing cancer that may take years to develop. It usually shows no symptoms in the early stages. When the disease grows gradually over many years, a number of symptoms can develop.

Abdominal bloating may be a sign of stomach cancer. But, it can also be a common symptom seen in many other gastrointestinal diseases. If an individual frequently experience stomach bloating after eating meals, they should consult your doctor for accurate diagnosis.
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