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Stomach Cancer Treatment

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a malignancy that starts in the cells lining the stomach. It is a relatively uncommon cancer, but it can be aggressive and challenging to detect in its early stages. The two main types of stomach cancer are adenocarcinoma and lymphoma, with adenocarcinoma being the most common.

Overview of Stomach Cancer:

Risk Factors:

  1. Infection: Infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria is a significant risk factor.

  2. Age: Risk increases with age, with most cases occurring in people over 65.

  3. Gender: Men are more prone to developing stomach cancer than women.

  4. Diet: A diet high in smoked, salted, or pickled foods may increase the risk.

  5. Tobacco and Alcohol Use: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are associated with an elevated risk.

  6. Family History: Having a close relative with stomach cancer may increase susceptibility.


  • Early-stage stomach cancer may be asymptomatic.

  • Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, and difficulty swallowing.


  1. Endoscopy: A flexible tube with a camera is used to examine the stomach lining and take tissue samples.

  2. Biopsy: Removal of a small sample of tissue for laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of cancer.

  3. Imaging Tests: CT scans, MRI, and PET scans help determine the extent of cancer and if it has spread to other organs.

Treatment Modalities:

1. Surgery:

  • Gastrectomy: Removal of part or all of the stomach.

  • Lymphadenectomy: Removal of nearby lymph nodes.

  • Palliative Surgery: To relieve symptoms in advanced cases.

2. Chemotherapy:

  • Systemic medications to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells.

  • Often used before surgery to shrink tumors or after surgery to eliminate residual cancer cells.

3. Radiation Therapy:

  • High-energy beams targeted at the cancer site to destroy cancer cells.

  • Used before or after surgery or as palliative care.

4. Targeted Therapy:

  • Medications targeting specific molecules involved in cancer growth.

  • Trastuzumab may be used for HER2-positive stomach cancers.

5. Immunotherapy:

  • Stimulating the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells.

  • Still being studied for its effectiveness in stomach cancer.

6. Clinical Trials:

  • Participation in research studies to test new and innovative treatments.

7. Supportive Care:

  • Managing symptoms and side effects of treatment, such as nausea, pain, and nutritional support.

Prognosis and Follow-Up:

  • Prognosis depends on the stage at diagnosis, the extent of surgery, and the response to treatment.

  • Early detection is challenging, and stomach cancer is often diagnosed at more advanced stages.

  • Regular follow-up care is essential to monitor for any signs of recurrence and manage potential side effects.

A multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other specialists, works together to develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient. As with many cancers, early detection and advances in treatment modalities have the potential to improve outcomes for individuals diagnosed with stomach cancer.

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