Gastric Cancer - Medic Quotes
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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer is a disease that occurs because per stomach cells grow abnormally and uncontrollably. This abnormal cell growth occurs because cells undergo changes in ethical genes.
Gastric cancer rarely causes specific symptoms at an early stage. Symptoms can include flatulence or heartburn and are often only considered a complaint of heartburn.

This condition makes gastric cancer difficult to diagnose early, and generally only diagnosed after entering the final stage. This will certainly affect the chances of recovery.

Causes of gastric cancer

Gastric cancer results from a genetic change in the stomach cells, which causes these cells to grow abnormally and uncontrollably. These cells are called cancer cells.

The cause of the genetic changes in gastric cells is not known with certainty. However, there are several factors that are known to increase a person's risk of developing gastric cancer, namely:

  • Smoke
  • 55 years old and above
  • Male sex
  • Have a family member with a history of gastric cancer
  • Have had surgery on the stomach

Gastric cancer is also more at risk for people who have had the disease below:

  • Pylori bacterial infection.
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection (EBV).
  • Chronic gastric inflammation.
  • Anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Polyps in the stomach.
  • The weakened immune system, for example, because of HIV / AIDS or the use of immunosuppressive drugs in the long term.
  • Other types of cancer, such as lymphoma, esophageal cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and cervical cancer.

In addition to these factors, lifestyle and diet can also increase a person's risk of developing gastric cancer. The lifestyle in question is:

  • Often eat meat, especially processed meat.
  • Often eat processed foods and high in salt.
  • Often drink alcohol.
  • Do not store and cook food properly.
  • Rarely eat vegetables and fruit.
  • Rarely exercise.
  • Overweight or obese.

Symptoms of gastric cancer

Gastric cancer in the early stages often causes no symptoms. Even if symptoms appear, it is generally considered a symptom of normal heartburn. The following are some of the symptoms that people with gastric cancer can feel at an early stage:

  • Flatulence and frequent belching
  • Heartburn
  • Rising stomach acid ( heartburn )
  • Fast full when eating
  • Nausea
  • Gag

Advanced stomach cancer will cause more severe symptoms. At this stage, new patients generally come to see a doctor. Some of the symptoms of gastric cancer at an advanced stage are:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Black bowel or bloody bowel movements
  • Lack of blood or anemia
  • Jaundice
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • The body feels weak
  • Swelling of the stomach due to fluid buildup.

When to see a doctor

If you often experience complaints of stomach ulcers or recurrent digestive disorders, you should consult a gastroenterologist. Gastroenterologists can do gastric binoculars ( gastroscopy ), to see the condition in the stomach.

Vomiting blood or bloody bowel can make people with gastric cancer experience shock that can be fatal.

Immediately go to the emergency room of the nearest hospital if you experience this complaint to get immediate treatment.

Gastric Cancer Diagnosis

When blood vomits occur, the doctor will take care of it first to stabilize the patient's condition. After the condition of the patient is stable, the doctor will ask about the symptoms that are felt, the patient's medical history, and the diseases that are in his family, especially cancer.

Next, the doctor will do a physical examination of the patient's abdomen to see if there is swelling and pain when the stomach is pressed. Doctors can also do digital rectal examinations to detect bloody bowel movements.

To ascertain whether a person has gastric cancer, the doctor will conduct a follow-up examination in the form of:

1. Gastroscopy

Gastroscopy or gastric binoculars are performed by inserting a device such as a hose equipped with a camera into the stomach through the mouth. This tool can help doctors see the condition of the stomach while taking samples of gastric tissue to be examined in the laboratory.

2. X-rays

X-rays can help doctors see abnormalities in the stomach lining. In order for the results to be clearer, the patient will be asked to drink a special solution as a coloring agent, before the examination is carried out.

3. Blood test

A blood test in the laboratory is done to find out if there is a Helicobacter pylori infection, as well as to check the function of other organs, such as the liver and kidneys.

4. Stool tests

The doctor can also take a patient's stool sample to check for blood in the stool.

5. Abdominal ultrasound

The examination using ultrasound waves aims to see whether gastric cancer has attacked other digestive organs, especially the liver.

6. CT scan

A CT scan is performed to determine the development and spread of cancer.

7. Laparoscopic surgery

This procedure is performed using a device such as a gastroscopy but is inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall. Laparoscopic surgery aims to determine the spread of gastric cancer tissue.

Stages of Stomach Cancer Development

Based on the severity and spread, gastric cancer is divided into 4 stages, namely:

  • Stage 1
    At this stage, the cancer is in the inner lining of the gastric cavity and spreads to the surrounding lymph nodes.
  • Stage 2
    At this stage, cancer has invaded the stomach muscle layer and spread more and more to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3
    At this stage, the entire lining of the stomach has been eaten away by cancer or many small cancerous growths that spread widely to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 4
    The spread of gastric cancer at this stage is getting worse and reaches other organs.

The determination of the severity of gastric cancer can be done through the examinations described earlier. Determining the stage will help the doctor to provide appropriate treatment.

Gastric Cancer Treatment

The method of treating gastric cancer depends on the stage of cancer and the general health condition of the patient. While the opportunity to recover from gastric cancer, depending on the stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis, as well as the health condition and age of the patient.

The types of treatment that can be undertaken include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and targeted drug therapy. The four types of treatment are often combined so that cancer cells in the stomach can be completely eradicated.


Gastric surgery is done to remove cancerous tissue from the stomach. The type of surgery performed depends on the stage of the patient's cancer. If the cancer is still in the early stages and has only recently developed in the lining of the stomach, surgery can be done with the help of a gastroscopy.

Another surgical method that a doctor can choose to treat gastric cancer is a gastrectomy. Through this procedure, the doctor will remove part or all of the stomach affected by cancer.

Gastrectomy is done if the cancerous tissue has spread to other parts of the stomach to the surrounding tissue. Through a gastrectomy, part of the tissue around the stomach and lymph nodes can be removed.

Surgery, especially gastrectomy, risks creating complications such as bleeding, infection, and digestive disorders.


Radiotherapy is done to kill cancer cells using special light. The radiation beam used to kill cancer cells can come from a device that is installed in the skin near the patient's stomach (internal radiation) or using a special radiation device in the hospital (external radiation).

Radiotherapy can be done before or after other cancer treatments. Radiotherapy is done before patients undergo surgery to reduce the size of cancer. While radiotherapy after surgery aims to eradicate the remaining cancer cells after surgery.

Radiotherapy must be done regularly and the schedule will be arranged by a doctor. Although not feeling sick when the radiotherapy procedure is performed, patients can experience side effects afterward, in the form of diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and indigestion.


Chemotherapy is a treatment to kill cancer cells through the administration of a number of drugs. Chemotherapy drugs can take the form of tablets, infusions, or a combination of both. Chemotherapy drugs are usually a combination of 2 or 3 types of the following drugs:

  • Epirubicin
  • Cisplatin
  • Capecitabine
  • Fluorouracil il
  • Oxaliplatin
  • Irinotecan

Chemotherapy will be combined with radiotherapy or surgery. For advanced, inoperable gastric cancer, chemotherapy can help inhibit the development of cancer and relieve perceived symptoms.

Chemotherapy can take several weeks to several months. This procedure will cause several side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, hair loss, and weight loss. Usually, these side effects will disappear after the chemotherapy treatment ends.

Targeted Drug Therapy

Targeted drug therapy has two functions, namely attacking cells that experience genetic mutations into cancer cells, or stimulating the immune system to eradicate these cells. Targeted drug therapy can be combined with chemotherapy. Some types of drugs used in targeted drug therapy are:

  • Imatinib
  • Regorafenib
  • Sunitinib
  • Trastuzumab
  • Ra mu c I rumba

In end-stage gastric cancer, treatment is usually only focused on reducing symptoms, so that patients feel more comfortable.

Prevention of gastric cancer

To avoid gastric cancer, you can do the following steps:

  • Stop or stay away from smoking habits.
  • Applying a healthy diet, for example eating fiber-rich foods, and reducing salty foods and processed foods.
  • Maintain ideal body weight.

Because the symptoms of gastric cancer are almost the same as some other gastric problems, then generally sufferers do not realize until gastric cancer has been at a high stage when diagnosed. According to the study, as many as fifteen percents of patients with gastric cancer can still live at least the next five years after diagnosis and about eleven percent who are diagnosed can still live at least the next ten years.

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