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Stomach Cancer

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While the overall incidence of gastric cancer is decreasing in the United States, the incidence of gastric cancer near the esophagus (gastroesophageal junction) is increasing.

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach (gastric) cancer starts in the stomach and comes in several forms. The most common type is adenocarcinoma. This cancer begins in the cells that line the stomach. Other tumors include GIST, lymphoma and carcinoids.

Who develops stomach cancer?

Several risk factors can increase the odds of developing gastric cancer. These include:

  • a family history of gastric cancer
  • a Helicobacter pylori infection
  • a polyp larger than 2 centimeters in your stomach
  • being born in high-risk areas, such as Central/South America or Puerto Rico
  • chronic inflammation and swelling of the stomach
  • eating foods that have been salted, smoked or cured
  • pernicious anemia
  • smoking

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

The following symptoms may indicate gastric cancer; however, many other illnesses and conditions can also produce these symptoms, so if you’re experiencing anything unusual, make sure to discuss your concerns with your physician:

  • a feeling of being full in the abdomen, or pain, especially after eating a small meal
  • dark stools
  • excessive belching
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • overall decline in health
  • swallowing problems, which worsen over time
  • unintentional weight loss
  • vomiting (may contain blood)
  • weakness or fatigue

How is stomach cancer diagnosed?

Blood tests, stool tests and tests such as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD; with biopsy—the removal of tissue for further testing) are common ways to diagnose gastric cancer.

How is stomach cancer treated?

Treatment options may include surgery (including minimally invasive procedures), radiation and chemotherapy, depending on the type of tumor, as well as its stage.

Valley Hospital is proud to offer the latest treatment options for stomach cancer, including minimally invasive surgery through its Institute for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery. For more information, call 201-447-8012.

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