Stomach Cancer in Illinois
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What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer, sometimes referred to as gastric cancer, is cancer that forms from the cells that are found in the inner layer of the stomach. Cancer, in general, is the growth of abnormal cells; the accumulation of these cells forms a tumor (a mass of tissue). Stomach cancer can occur anywhere in the stomach. The type of stomach cancer is dependent on where the cells originate from, such as hormone-making cells, inner lining cells, or immunological cells. This cancer can spread to other parts of the body — first, it spreads from the stomach to the lymph nodes, then through the lymphatic system. During later stages of stomach cancer, it can spread to areas such as the liver, bones, and lungs. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, you likely want to partner with a team of expert gastroenterologists. If you have stomach cancer in Chicago, IL or Peoria, IL, and Bloomington, IL, contact GI Alliance of Illinois to request a consultation at your nearest location.
What are the causes and risk factors for stomach cancer?
The cause of stomach cancer is not known; however, there are certain variables that may lead to a heightened risk. These include:
- A diet high in sodium
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Family history of stomach cancer
- Smoking or consuming other tobacco products
If you feel you are at an elevated risk for developing stomach cancer, reach out to GI Alliance of Illinois to learn about screening and prevention.
How is stomach cancer treated?
Treatment for stomach cancer will largely depend on the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, and how far the cancer has spread. Other considerations your Illinois provider will consider include your age and overall health. Typically treatments may include surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy.
Often, surgery is the most common treatment for stomach cancer. There are three main types of surgery used to treat gastric cancer. Those include:
- Endoscopic mucosal resection: This method is performed when cancer is detected early on and the chance of spreading to the lymph nodes is low. The cancerous tissue will be removed from the stomach using an endoscope, which is a long flexible tube with a camera on the end. During this procedure, the endoscope is inserted into the mouth and passed through the stomach. Surgical tools will then be used to remove the cancerous tissue. The patient will not have any cuts made on their body during this procedure.
- Subtotal gastrectomy: With this surgical method, a portion of the stomach is removed. This surgery is typically utilized when the cancer is in the lower part of the stomach only or the upper part of the stomach only. Part of the stomach will be removed, along with part of the esophagus and nearby lymph nodes in some cases. The remaining portion of the stomach is then reattached.
- Total gastrectomy: During this surgery, the entire stomach is removed as well as surrounding lymph nodes, and a new stomach is recreated by the small intestine. This method is usually reserved for cases where the cancer has spread to the whole stomach. If the cancer has spread to other organs, they may also be removed.
In some cases, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be performed after the surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and to prevent future reoccurrence of the cancer.
There are possible complications with surgery, however. Some complications include bleeding, blood clots, and damage to surrounding organs. It's also possible to develop heartburn and abdominal pain, particularly after eating, as well as vitamin deficiencies.
Post-surgery follow-up at your GI Alliance of Illinois location is vital as it is possible for the cancer to reoccur. If your GI provider ever suspects it may be coming back, he or she will have tests run to verify. In the event the upper part of the stomach is removed, we will request you receive B12 vitamin injections as necessary. We may suggest you visit a nutritionist who can help you adjust your diet to the new size of your stomach if a portion has been removed.
Hope for patients with stomach cancer
Stomach cancer may be a scary diagnosis and we understand the level of care and attention you'll need and expect with such a diagnosis. Our team of expert providers at GI Alliance of Illinois is here to partner with you to see you through the diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance of this disease. If you are experiencing concerning GI symptoms or you are at a greater risk of developing stomach cancer, we encourage you to contact your nearest Illinois location to request a consultation.
Very professional and personable.
The staff was friendly and efficient. Amy S. was wonderful and caring and remembered details of my issues without digging through notes. She spent enough time with me to develop a plan of action that included my input. She is great!
The staff is always welcoming & professional. PA Amy takes time to listen to my issues, ask questions and offer possible solutions. She orders appropriate diagnostic tests at a convenient location for me. They follow up with results.
Dr.Arndt is an excellent physician who provides great care for his GI patients. His interpersonal skills and ability to explain causes and solutions for conditions in easy to understand terms are fantastic. Thank you for all your great care.
Great doctor. Professional, attentive, and knowledgeable. Feel at ease under his care.