Stomach cancer is characterised by a growth of cancerous cells within the lining of the stomach. While the condition is relatively rare compared to other types of cancer, one of the biggest dangers of this disease is the difficulty of diagnosing it. Since stomach cancer usually doesn’t cause any early symptoms, it often goes unnoticed until after it has spread to other parts of the body.
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The stomach is just one part of the upper section of the digestive tract.
The stomach is responsible for digesting food and then moving the nutrients along to the rest of the digestive organs.
Stomach cancer occurs when normally healthy cells within the upper digestive system become cancerous and grow out of control, forming a tumour.
The colour of one’s stools could hold clues and could be a warning sign of stomach cancer.
The colour of one’s stools could be a key indicator of their level of health, and a colour that is very dark, almost black, is a warning sign.
Cancer Research UK notes: “Your poo can also be darker if you’re taking iron tablets.”
Noticing blood in your stools is another major warning sign of the disease.
Other symptoms to look out for
Cancer Research UK said: “The most common symptoms of stomach cancer include difficulty swallowing, weight loss, indigestion that doesn’t go away, feeling full after eating small amounts or feeling or being sick.
Symptoms of early stomach cancer can be similar to the symptoms of other conditions, such as stomach ulcers.
You should see your doctor if you have unexplained weight loss or you have symptoms that are unusual for your that won’t go away.”
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Treatment for stomach cancer
Traditionally, stomach cancer is treated by either chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery or immunotherapy, such as vaccines and medication.
The exact treatment plan will depend on the origin and stage of the cancer.
Age and overall health can also play a role. Stomach cancer, when left untreated, may spread to the lungs, lymph nodes, bones or liver.
Stomach cancer risk can be reduced by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking and regularly exercising.
If you suspect you may symptoms similar to stomach cancer, you may want to consider getting an early screening test.
This test can be helpful in detecting stomach cancer. Your GP may either do a physical exam, lab tests such as blood or urine, imaging procedures such as X-rays and CT scans or do a genetic test.
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