Stomach cancer arises as a malignant ulcer in the lining of the stomach. This is also called gastric cancer. Stomach cancer is the second most common cause of cancerous deaths and the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world.
Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of gastric cancer and it can be classified into intestinal and diffuse types. In intestinal adenocarcinoma the cells are arranged in tubular or glandular pattern. Intestinal adenocarcinomas are further classified as tubular, papillary and mucinous. Diffuse adenocarcinomata lack any kind of structural formations. They infiltrate the gastric walls and this condition is called Linitis Plastica.
Causes Of Stomach Cancer
Gastric cancer is a multifactorial disease and the exact cause remains unknown. The various risk factors are:
- H. pylori bacterial infection
- Male gender
- Smoking and alcohol consumption – upper part of the stomach closer to the esophagus
- Salt-rich foods
- Processed meat, red meat and pickled vegetables – nitrates and nitrites in meat get converted by certain bacteria into H. pylori
- GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease coupled with obesity and resulting in gastric cardia adenocarcinoma
- Iodine deficiency
- Genetics – this is rare but some types of diffuse cancers develop from the inherited CDH1 gene
- Menetrier disease or giant hypertrophic gastritis
- Adenomatous polyposis – familial
- Chronic atrophic gastritis
- Low consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Blood group : the most common blood type affected is group A
Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer
- Bloating of the stomach after eating
- Nausea and vomiting or vomiting blood
- Indigestion and discomfort in the stomach – upper or middle abdomen
- Heart burn
- Weight loss
- Weakness or fatigue along with mild anemia
Stomach Cancer Diagnosis
A gastroscope is a fibre optic camera fitted tube which is inserted into the stomach to visualize and examine it. Any abnormal tissue found is removed and examined under the microscope. A biopsy is the best method to detect cancer.
Upper GI Series
This is also called a barium x-ray. Once the barium solution is ingested, x-rays of the stomach, esophagus and intestine are taken to look for abnormalities.
A computed tomography helps in examining the stomach and its adjacent tissues.
To know more about conditions and treatments of Stomach Cancer