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Stomach Cancer Treatments on the Gulf Coast

Stomach cancer does not occur often in the United States with about 27,000 Americans expected to be diagnosed with the disease this year. This cancer affects the stomach and gastroesophageal area. Whether through surgery or immunotherapy treatments, our specialists ensure that they can provide the treatment plan you need to get back to health.

To start your battle against stomach cancer, call (251) 435-2273 today.

Symptoms & Risks

Stomach or gastric cancer involves the uncontrollable growth of cancer cells within that organ that affect its function and how the body processes food and nutrients. Almost all stomach cancers are classified as adenocarcinoma and begin in the mucosal tissue in the innermost lining of the stomach.

Other types of stomach cancer include:

  • Lymphoma: About four percent of stomach cancers that develop in the stomach wall.
  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor: A rare cancer that develops in the stomach wall but turns into a tumor.
  • Carcinoid tumor: Begins in the cells that develop hormones in the stomach and is usually confined solely to the stomach itself.

Stomach cancer often has no symptoms until it begins to affect the functions of the stomach and can grow for years undetected. The symptoms of stomach cancer include nausea, feeling full without eating, unexplained weight loss, vomiting (sometimes with blood), stomach cramps and pain, constant heartburn or indigestion. Since many of these symptoms can also be mistaken simply as flu or stomach ulcers, it is best to see a doctor if these symptoms continue.

You may be at risk of developing stomach cancer if you have type A blood, stomach lymphoma, genetic traits such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis, smoke or have poor general gut health. To prevent oneself from developing stomach cancer, a patient should avoid pickled and smoked foods, exercise, eat plenty of vegetables and fruit, not smoke and keep one’s weight at a healthy level.

Diagnosis & Staging

If a patient develops symptoms consistent with stomach cancer, a doctor will usually examine a patient's abdomen seeking unusual changes. Among other imaging options, the physician will often also order an upper endoscopy or endoscopic ultrasound to determine what is going on in the stomach. This usually allows the doctor to determine how advanced the stomach cancer is and how much it has spread. Individuals with stomach cancer also have higher levels of anemia and this can be tested to determine the presence of the disease. Upon diagnosis, your physician will stage the disease based upon its spread and aggression. The American Cancer Society has more information about the stages of stomach cancer here.

Treatment Options

The treatment options for stomach cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and radiation therapy. However, to determine which treatment is best for you, your doctor will consider where the cancer is and how far it has spread, if surgery is possible, how far the cancer has metastasized and your current medical health. Upon doing that, your gastroenterologist will recommend a proper course of treatment.

Surgery can be used to remove the cancer. There are several different surgical options:

  • Endoscopic resection: This is designed to remove cancer at its early stages.
  • Subtotal (partial) gastrectomy: This removes the cancerous section of the stomach and several surrounding nodes or organs that could be infected.
  • Total gastrectomy: This results in the removal of the entire stomach and all other infected organs.
  • Palliative surgery: This surgery is focused around simply relieving the cancer’s symptoms rather than removing it altogether.

If surgery is not an option, your doctor may recommend radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted immune therapies. Targeted therapies have become more popular at treating stomach cancer by seeking out cells with cancer’s growth proteins and destroying them.

Contact Infirmary Cancer Care today for more information about treating cancer care.

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