STOMACH CANCER

The stomach is an organ between the esophagus and small intestine. It is where digestion of protein begins. The stomach has three tasks. It stores swallowed food. It mixes the food with stomach acids. Then it sends the mixture on to the small intestine. Stomach cancer can begin in cells in the inner layer of the stomach (Adenocarcinoma), or from the middle layer of the stomach wall (GIST tumor), or from the lymph supply of the stomach (Lymphoma). Over time, the cancer may invade more deeply into the stomach wall or spread to other organs. People with certain risk factors are more likely to develop stomach cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of getting a disease. Risk factors for Stomach Cancer include Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, Long-term inflammation of the stomach, smoking, family history, poor diet, lack of physical activity, and obesity.

stomach cancer

SYMPTOMS

There are no early signs or symptoms of stomach cancer. Symptoms are often noted in the advanced stage.

  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain, which worsens after eating
  • Bloating of stomach, especially after eating
  • Feeling of stomach fullness, even after eating very little
  • Severe and persistent heartburn
  • Severe and persistent indigestion
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss

DIAGNOSIS

Tests and procedures used to diagnose and stage stomach cancer include:

  • Endoscopy During endoscopy, your doctor passes a flexible tube equipped with a video lens (videoendoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus. Using the endoscope, your doctor examines your esophagus, looking for cancer or areas of irritation. If any suspicious areas are found, a piece of tissue can be collected for analysis (biopsy).
  • Imaging Tests – Imaging tests used to look for stomach cancer include computerized tomography (CT) scans and a special type of X-ray exam sometimes called a barium swallow. Finally, a combined computerized tomography and positron emission (CT/PET) scan may be used as a final evaluation to determine the stage of the gastric cancer.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Tests and procedures used to diagnose and stage stomach cancer include:

  • Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC) Syndrome– represents a small group of patients who have a strong family history of gastric cancer and is associated with gene mutation. The diagnosis of HDGC requires genetic testing and, if confirmed, the risk of developing gastric cancer is about 75% by age 80. Some patients may be candidates for removal of the stomach to prevent cancer by utilizing Minimally Invasive techniques.
    The choice of treatment depends mainly on the type, size, and location of the tumor, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s general health. The specific surgical procedure for stomach cancer depends mainly on where the cancer is located. The whole stomach may be removed or only the part that has the cancer. Three types of Minimally Invasive surgical procedures could be recommended for treatment.
  • Laparoscopic Partial Gastrectomy is used primarily for GIST tumors. This type of tumor is usually very localized with clear margins. Therefore, it does not require removing a large area around the tumor. In addition, the lymph nodes do not need to be removed with these types of tumors.
  • Laparoscopic Total Gastrectomy for Adenocarcinoma tumors of the upper or mid part of the stomach. The entire stomach, nearby lymph nodes, parts of the esophagus and small intestine, and other tissues near the tumor are removed. The esophagus is connected directly to the small intestine. This Minimally Invasive gastrectomy procedure can be appropriate for patients with Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer or Lymphoma.

FOLLOW UP

Finally, Dr. Chiasson performs revision surgery to manage complications related to all of the primary weight loss procedures. These include revision gastro-jejunostomy for ulcers, the reversal of gastric bypass anatomy to restore intestinal continuity and surgical treatment options for patients suffering from duodenal switch complications.

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In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese. You are not alone and you do not need to feel any less of a person if you are overweight or obese. Take action now and increase your quality of life.