Gastric Cancer Awareness Month: Facts, Risk Factors, and Treatments

Cancer is a concerning health condition that stems from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. It can develop in nearly any area of the body. With November being the dedicated National Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, Digestive Health Associates of Texas seeks to share facts and other information about gastric cancer and how it might be treated. According to the American Cancer Society, around 26,000 new gastric cancer cases are reported annually. Gastric cancer, also referred to stomach cancer, is responsible for approximately 1.5% of new cancer diagnoses in the United States.

If you or someone you love may have stomach cancer, it's important to meet with a digestive health specialist to make certain you get expert treatment. Contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX today for further details.

What is gastric cancer?

The stomach is positioned in the upper abdominal region where food is stored and digested. If cancer cells develop within the inner membrane of any part of the stomach, it is referred to as cancer of the stomach. While cancer can affect any area within the stomach, among U.S. patients, the disease most commonly affects the gastroesophageal junction, which is where the esophagus transitions into the stomach. Stomach cancer rates in the United States are on the decline; however, it is a leading reason for cancer death around the globe.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastric cancer?

Cancer of the stomach can take years to develop. Because stomach cancer is not all that prevalent in the U.S., there are no official medical groups that recommend regular examinations for patients at an average risk for stomach cancer. In the early stages, cancer of the stomach often does not exhibit any obvious symptoms, but people who do experience signs and symptoms might report:

Recurrent queasiness

- Unintentional weight loss

- Abdominal enlargement

- Pain in the abdominal area

- Heartburn

- Poor appetite

In the event you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is essential to seek professional care from a Dallas, TX gastroenterologist Contact Digestive Health Associates of Texas to speak with a GI physician as soon as possible.

What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?

Some people are at an increased risk of developing cancer of the stomach. These risk factors include genetic conditions, such as Lynch syndrome. This particular condition also increases the risk of uterine cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Additional factors that can place you at greater risk for stomach cancer are:

- Obesity

- Work-related exposure

- Being male

- Alcohol use

- Previous stomach surgery

- Use of tobacco products

- Family history of gastric cancer

- Being older than 55

Consult a Dallas, TX gastrointestinal doctor to see about undergoing routine stomach cancer screenings, such as an upper endoscopy, if you have an increased risk for gastric cancer. You can set up an upper endoscopy and speak with a GI doctor by contacting Digestive Health Associates of Texas.

What are the surgical procedures for treating stomach cancer?

Gastric cancer is commonly addressed with surgical intervention. Once the cancerous tissue is eliminated, chemotherapy and radiation might also be utilized to reduce the probability of the cancer's return. In general, there are three main surgeries for treating cancerous tissue in the stomach:

- Subtotal (or partial) gastrectomy: During this surgical procedure, part of the stomach is taken out, and the remaining areas are reattached. Subtotal gastrectomy may additionally include the removal of nearby lymph nodes or other tissue.

- Total gastrectomy: The whole stomach and adjacent lymph nodes are removed, and a new stomach is restructured from part of the small bowel.

- Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection: With this approach, a long tube called an endoscope is used to take out the malignant tissue within the stomach.

Find gastric cancer treatment in Dallas, TX

We are honored to raise awareness of gastric cancer throughout the month of November. Digestive Health Associates of Texas is a patient-centered group of GI specialists and a distinguished name in the world of gastrointestinal health. In the event you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with gastric cancer, please understand that experienced help is near. Get in touch with our office in Dallas, TX today for more information on how a GI specialist can help address your medical needs.