Increasing Awareness of Gastric Cancer This November

Summary: Gastric (stomach) cancer can develop in any portion of the stomach and is generally addressed with surgical treatment to remove the malignant tissue.

A serious disease that results from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells, cancer can develop just about anywhere in the body. With November being the dedicated National Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio is dedicated to educating the community on the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer and how the condition might be managed. Nearly 26,000 new cases of gastric cancer are reported each year, as per the American Cancer Society. Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, leads to approximately 1.5% of initial cancer diagnoses in the country.

In the event you or a loved one receives a stomach cancer diagnosis, it is important to visit a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist to ensure you get the specialized treatment required. Get in touch with Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio in San Antonio, TX for further details.

About gastric cancer

The stomach is located in the top portion of the abdomen where food is held and broken down. When cancer cells develop in the inner lining of any location within the stomach, it is called gastric or stomach cancer. Although cancer can impact any part of the stomach, among patients in the U.S., the condition is most commonly found at the gastroesophageal junction, which is the area where the esophagus transitions into the stomach. Gastric cancer rates have been falling in the United States; however, the disease is still a major cause of cancer death in the world.

What are common signs of stomach cancer?

Gastric cancer is slow growing and may take more than a year or longer to develop. Because cancer of the stomach is not all that common among individuals in the United States, there are no official healthcare organizations that advise periodic screenings for those at average risk for this disease. In the early stages, cancer of the stomach might not display any signs or symptoms, although people who do notice signs or symptoms generally have one or more of the following:

  • Acid reflux
  • Ongoing queasiness
  • Enlargement of the abdomen
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Poor appetite

Should you or a person you love notice any of the symptoms above, it is imperative to seek expert medical treatment from a San Antonio, TX gastrointestinal specialist. Reach out to Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio to consult a GI doctor as soon as possible.

What are the risk factors associated with gastric cancer?

A number of people are at an increased risk of developing gastric cancer. These risk factors include having a genetic predisposition to certain conditions, like Lynch syndrome. This particular health issue also elevates the chance of colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Additional factors that may place a person at greater risk for gastric cancer include the following:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Previous stomach surgery
  • Obesity
  • Being of the male gender
  • A family history of stomach cancer
  • Occupational exposure
  • Being over 55
  • Smoking

Talk to a San Antonio, TX GI specialist to learn about undergoing regular screenings for stomach cancer, like an upper endoscopy, if you have an elevated likelihood of developing gastric cancer. You can arrange to have an upper endoscopy and speak with an experienced GI doctor by reaching out to Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio.

What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is usually addressed with surgical intervention. After the cancerous mass is taken out, radiation treatment and chemotherapy could also be utilized to reduce the chance of the cancer returning. In general, there are three predominant surgeries for the removal of cancerous tissue in the stomach:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection: With this surgery, a flexible tube known as an endoscope is used to remove the cancerous tissue within the stomach.
  • Total gastrectomy: During this type of gastric cancer surgery, the whole stomach and neighboring lymph nodes are removed, and a new stomach is recreated by the small bowel.
  • Subtotal (or partial) gastrectomy: With a subtotal gastrectomy surgical approach, a portion of the stomach is removed, and the surrounding areas are reconnected. Subtotal gastrectomy might also include excising nearby lymph nodes or other tissue.

Experienced gastric cancer care in San Antonio, TX

Throughout the month of November, we are dedicated to spreading awareness of gastric cancer to patients across our community. Should you or someone you love receive a gastric cancer diagnosis, it is important to understand that professional care is close by. Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio is a physician-led network of gastrointestinal specialists and a reliable name in the field of digestive health. Get in touch with our office in San Antonio, TX today to further explore how a GI doctor can help you.