Stomach cancer occurs when normal and healthy cells in the inner lining of your stomach grow out of control and eventually form a tumor. This disease, which is also called gastric cancer, most of the times grows slowly over a long period of time. But what are the symptoms and causes of stomach cancer?
Typically there are no early symptoms which can be frustrating, because you can’t possibly understand what’s going on. Usually, you don’t know that something is wrong with your stomach until cancer has reached an advanced stage. Some of the symptoms of advanced stage of cancer can be: vomiting, loss of appetite, which can be accompanied by a sudden weight loss, frequent heartburn or stomach pain.
As tumors in the stomach grow, you may also have more serious symptoms, such as:
- Stomach pain
- Blood in your stool
- Trouble swallowing
- Yellowish skin or eyes
- Sudden weight loss
- Constipation or diarrhea
Even today, scientists can’t be certain about the exact reasons that make these kinds of cells start growing in the stomach. But they know some things, that can actually raise your risk for the disease. One of them is an infection of common bacteria, H. pylori, that causes ulcers. In addition, if you suffer from gastritis or long-lasting anemia or even polyps in your stomach, you are more likely to develop cancer. So, you need to be careful about these factors and take all the necessary treatment.
Keep in mind, though, that by just having heartburn or indigestion after a meal doesn’t mean that you have cancer. But in case you feel these kinds of symptoms often, you have to contact your doctor. He will examine you and he will see if you have also other risk factor and test you. Your doctor will give you a physical exam and ask you about all your medical history, in order to figure out if you have any risk factors for stomach cancer or even if any of your family members had it in the past.
Then he might ask you to take some of the following tests:
Upper endoscopy: Your doctor will put a small camera with a thin tube down your throat in order to be able to check your stomach
Blood tests: In order to see any kind of signs of cancer
CT Scan: X-rays that are very powerful in order your doctor to be able to see any details through pictures inside your body
Upper Gl series test: You will have to drink a liquid with barium, which will make your stomach show up more clearly in X-rays
Biopsy: Your doctor will take a small piece of tissue from your stomach, in order to check it under the microscope and check for any signs of cancer
If in any case cancer is diagnosed, one of the most important factors is relieving the symptoms and taking good treatment. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any new kind of symptoms you may think that you develop or any change in symptoms.
Sourced from: Webmd