What is stomach cancer?
Cancer Overview of Cancer Cancer is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. For example, your intestines have muscle cells to... read more is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. Different organs are made of different kinds of cells. Almost any kind of cell can become cancerous.
Stomach cancer is cancer Overview of Cancer Cancer is the out-of-control growth of cells in your body. Cells are the tiny building blocks of your body. Cells specialize in what they do. For example, your intestines have muscle cells to... read more that starts in your stomach.
Symptoms of stomach cancer include discomfort in your belly, weight loss, and weakness
Stomach cancer spreads easily to other parts of your body and is often deadly
Doctors treat it with surgery
What causes stomach cancer?
Genetics (something you inherit from one or both parents)
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
Early symptoms are mild and you may not notice them. They include:
Burning belly pain
Fullness after a small meal
Later symptoms may include:
Weight loss or weakness
Throwing up blood or passing black tarry stool
Spreading cancer may cause symptoms such as:
Jaundice Jaundice in Adults Jaundice is a yellow color to your skin and the whites of your eyes. Jaundice is caused by a buildup of a substance called bilirubin Bilirubin is a yellow substance your body makes when it breaks... read more (yellow-colored skin and a yellow color to the white parts of your eyes)
Fluid build-up and swelling in your belly
Weak bones, leading to bone fractures
How can doctors tell if I have stomach cancer?
Doctors look for stomach cancer with:
Endoscopy Endoscopy "Endo" means inside, and "scope" means look. So an endoscope is an instrument doctors use to look inside your body. Endoscopes can also be used to do tests and treat diseases. Endoscopes are... read more (a flexible viewing tube is passed through your throat to look in your stomach and take samples for testing)
If endoscopy and biopsy tests shows stomach cancer, doctors usually do:
CT scan Computed Tomography A CT scan uses a large machine shaped like a large donut to take x-rays from many angles. A computer then takes the x-rays and creates many detailed pictures of the inside of your body. Each... read more and ultrasound Ultrasonography Ultrasonography is a safe imaging test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the insides of your body. Ultrasonography doesn't use radiation (x-rays). Ultrasonography is also called... read more of the abdomen to check if it has spread to other organs
How do doctors treat stomach cancer?
Doctors treat stomach cancer that hasn’t spread with:
Removing the whole tumor before it spreads is the only chance for a cure. For stomach cancer that has spread, treatment can’t cure the disease or help someone live longer. Doctors may treat symptoms and make the person feel more comfortable with:
Chemotherapy Chemotherapy Chemotherapy is a medicine that destroys cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by shutting down cell growth. But since all cells in the body grow, chemotherapy medicines also destroy some normal... read more and radiation therapy Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses beams of radiation to destroy cancer cells and shrink cancer tumors. Doctors use radiation to treat many types of cancer, including head, neck... read more