Best Gastric Cancer Treatment Hospitals In India

Gastric cancer (also known as stomach cancer), is that which develops in the lining of the stomach. It develops when cells in the stomach begin to grow in an abnormal and uncontrolled manner. Gastric cancer is the third most common cause of cancer related deaths in the world.

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On the basis of the type of cells in which it starts, gastric cancer can be classified as –


  • Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): This cancer starts in a special type of cell lining the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). The cancer cells in this type of cancer look similar to muscle or nerve cells.

  • Adenocarcinoma: This cancer starts in the glandular cells that form the innermost lining of the stomach and protect the stomach from acidic digestive juices, by secreting a layer of mucus. Majority of stomach cancers are of this type.

  • Carcinoid Cancer: This cancer starts in the hormone-producing cells in the stomach.

  • Lymphoma: This cancer starts in the lymph tissues of the stomach and accounts for only 4% of gastrointestinal tumors.

 

Gastric cancer is caused by a change or error (mutation) in the DNA of cells in the stomach, which causes these cells to divide rapidly and abnormally, forming tumors. This cancer develops in more men than women and is generally seen in people above 55 years of age. Smoking, family history of gastric cancer, pernicious anemia, helicobacter pylori infection, swelling and inflammation in the stomach from a long time, or abnormal growths (polyps) in the stomach increase the risk of gastric cancer.

 

Gastric cancer occurs in four stages as follows –

·      Stage 0 (carcinoma in situ): In this stage, the cancer is limited to the cells in the inner lining of the stomach and has not spread anywhere.

·      Stage I: In this stage, the cancer spreads from the superficial mucosal layer into the submucosa, connective tissue, or muscle below, without spreading to lymph nodes (Stage IA) or spreading to 1-2 lymph nodes (Stage IB).

·      Stage II: In this stage, the cancer spreads to the serosal layer of the stomach but not to other organs or to lymph nodes, or to the middle layer of the stomach wall and almost 6 lymph nodes surrounding the tumor, or to the innermost layer of the stomach and 7-15 lymph nodes surrounding the tumor.

·      Stage III: In this stage, the cancer spreads through the muscle layers of the stomach, and nearby lymph nodes, but not to distant lymph nodes and organs.

·      Stage IV: In this stage, the cancer spreads to organs near the stomach and at least one lymph node, or more than 15 lymph nodes or to distant body parts.

 

Gastric cancer patients show symptoms such as heart burn, stomach discomfort and indigestion, loss of appetite, mild nausea, vomiting, bloating after eating, stomach pain, blood in stool, and unexplained weight loss.

 

When a patient presents with the above symptoms, the physician takes a detailed medical history and physically examines the patient. The following tests may be performed –

·      Stool test: This is done to check if blood is present in the stools.

·      Complete blood count (CBC): This test is done to check if the patients suffers from low hemoglobin level (anemia).

·      Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): In this procedure, a thin light tube with a tiny camera is passed through the mouth to examine the stomach tissue.

 

Treatment of gastric cancer depends on the stage of the disease and how far the tumor has spread. It may include one or more of the options below–

·      Radiation therapy: In this therapy, X-rays or beams of radiation emitted from metals like radium are used to destroy stomach cancer cells.  

·      Chemotherapy: In this therapy, anticancer drugs in the form of injectables or those given by mouth are used to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors.

·      Surgery: Gastric cancer surgery may involve surgical removal of tumor and surrounding tissue along with the entire stomach, small intestines and part of the esophagus (total gastrectomy), or removal of tumor and surrounding tissue with only part of the stomach and organs surrounding the tissue (subtotal gastrectomy).


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