Gastric Cancer or Stomach cancer can be described as a growth of cancerous cells contained by the stomach lining. It is very difficult to identify since most of the patients do not show warning signs. It is a rare kind of cancer, hence the difficulty in diagnosis. It usually spreads to other parts of the body. This makes it more difficult to treat.
- Stage 1 – The tumor is in the top layer of tissue in the inside of the stomach. Cancer cells might have spread to the nearby lymph nodes partially.
- Stage 2 – The cancer is growing into a deeper muscle layer of the stomach wall and more of the lymph nodes.
- Stage 3 – Cancer has grown through all the layers of the stomach and spreads to structures in close proximity.
- Stage 4 – Cancer spreads to different areas of the body.
Patients do not show many signs at the earlier stage but gradually progressing towards severe stages, they start showing symptoms like Nausea, Vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain, etc. At the later stages, they show symptoms like palpably enlarged stomach, peptic ulcer symptoms, a primary mass though it is rare, an enlarged liver, Sister Mary Joseph’s nodule (periumbilical), Virchow’s node (i.e., left supraclavicular), Blumer’s shelf (metastatic tumor felt on rectal examination). It is better if the symptoms are recognized at an early stage.
The preliminary diagnosis of gastric cancer is often delayed since patients do not show early symptoms. However, rigorous screening processes can detect it at an early stage.
The diagnostic imaging procedure, Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) is preferred for the treatment. Preliminary information is given by Radiographic studied which assist in determining the gastric lesion is.
EGD along with endoscopic biopsy becomes highly sensitive. In the diagnosis, multiple biopsy specimens are acquired from visually suspicious areas. It includes recurring sampling at the same tissue site in order to reach deeper into the gastric wall.Further, in order to determine the course of action for advanced treatment, assessment for metastases is essential. Computed tomographic (CT) scanning is used for detecting liver metastases, peritoneal seeding, perigastric involvement and involvement of other peritoneal structures. Nevertheless, CT scanning cannot assess tumor spread to closest lymph nodes except they are puffed-up.
Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is used for a more accurate staging, in which the transducer is positioned next to the gastric wall, further producing high-frequency sound waves to find out the depth of tumor and spot local lymph node concern, which might be assessed by a biopsy. EUS is significant for increasing pre operative staging accuracy.
Radiotherapy only has a modest survival advantage has been shown and side effects such as gastrointestinal toxicity due to dose-limiting structures close to the stomach.
Chemotherapy has a noteworthy survival advantage, however, studies show that there are major recurrence rates, around 80%.
The choice of the surgical procedure of gastric cancer patient must be attuned to the spot of the tumor, the growth pattern that is observed on biopsy specimens, and the anticipated setting of lymph node metastases.
Gastric Cancer is rare cancer and a sever kind of cancer that is difficult to cure and it is vital to stay aware and consult a doctor, whenever the need is felt.