Stomach cancer is also known by “Gastric cancer”. As cancer relates to cells in the body, gastric cancer is nothing but an accumulation of unnatural group of cells that form a tumor in any part of the stomach. This abnormal group can be malignant or cancerous.
- 1 Statistics about Gastric Cancer
- 2 Survival Rate
- 3 Celebrity Status
- 4 5 Different types of Gastric Cancer
- 5 Adenocarcinoma of the stomach
- 6 Lymphoma of the stomach
- 7 Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
- 8 Neuroendocrine tumors
- 9 10 Causes of Stomach Cancer
- 10 A sensation of being very full (and rapidly full) during meals
- 11 Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)
- 12 Feeling bloated after meals
- 13 Frequent burping
- 14 Heartburn
- 15 Indigestion that does not go away
- 16 Stomachache, or pain in the sternum (breastbone)
- 17 Trapped wind
- 18 Vomiting (may contain blood)
- 19 Accumulation of fluid in the stomach – stomach feels “lumpy”
- 20 Anemia
- 21 Black stools, or blood in stools
- 22 Fatigue
- 23 Loss of appetite
- 24 Weight loss
Statistics about Gastric Cancer
According to WHO stats, about 0.8 million gastric cancer related deaths occur each year globally. It is the fourth most common cause of cancer and second cause in cancer related deaths.
This disease is more common in males and in developing nations compared to industrialized nations. The exceptions are Japan and South Korea. The number is less in USA, Europe and Canada when compared to the above.
In the USA, there are approximately 25,000+ new cases of gastric cancer annually. This represents 2% of new cancer causes, when compared to South Korea where it is 20.8%.
The survival rate is more than 6 month for 65% of patients if its diagnosed in the early stage. The same is less than 6 months with 15% survival rate if its diagnosed in the later stages.
Napoleon Bonaparte, a famous French general of 1800s who survived his last days in a prison island died of stomach cancer. This was proved by eminent scientists and experts of USA, Canada and Switzerland.
5 Different types of Gastric Cancer
There are 4 broad different categories of stomach cancer.
Adenocarcinoma of the stomach
This type of category is the main cause among 90 to 95% of stomach cancer patients. This develops in the cells that form the mucosa, a thin innermost lining of the stomach.
Lymphoma of the stomach
This is found as the cause in about 4% of stomach cancer cases. Malignant cells are found in the lymphatic issue which is sometimes found in the wall of the stomach.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)
These are rare tumors that form in the connective tissue of the stomach wall. Some of these tumors may be cancerous. GISTs can also be found in other parts of the digestive tract.
This type is one of the rarest of gastric cancers. The benign cells collect and form tumors in the hormone making cells, usually in the digestive tract.
- Other forms of rare gastric cancers includes ones like squamous cell carcinoma, carcinoid tumor, leiomyosarcoma, and small cell carcinoma.
10 Causes of Stomach Cancer
Though a symptom, sign and cause are loosely related to a simple patient’s knowledge, they are different in a doctor’s terminology. A symptom is something a patient feels (eg. stomachache) and describes while a sign is something a doctor or nurse can detect (eg. rash).
Some of the early gastric cancer symptoms include
A sensation of being very full (and rapidly full) during meals
Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)
Feeling bloated after meals
Indigestion that does not go away
Stomachache, or pain in the sternum (breastbone)
Vomiting (may contain blood)
In a severe case of stomach cancer, the following signs and symptoms are more predominant.
Accumulation of fluid in the stomach – stomach feels “lumpy”
Black stools, or blood in stools
Loss of appetite
The cause for the occurrence of gastric in some individuals is still a mystery. But the basic reason is that some cells mutate and become cancerous. Cancer starts when the structure of DNA changes or mutates. DNA is the basic blue print for a cell and provides it with a basic set of instructions, just like a computer program.
When DNA structure changes, a mutation happens. This can alter the growth of cells, cells which should die may not die, cells to be created may produce rapidly etc. There is an accumulation of too many cells i.e tumor.
Gender, Race, Genetics, Geography, Blood type, Advanced age, Family history, Lifestyle factors, H. Pylon infection of the stomach, certain health conditions, work-related stress are some the increased risk factors for causing gastric cancer.[Source: webmd.com]