Stomach cancer: here’s how to recognize and prevent it

The main cause of stomach cancer is an increasing and uncontrolled mass of cells within the organ. Our General Surgery expert tells us about diagnosis

Stomach cancer: risk factors

Risk factors for gastric cancer can be of different types:

  1. Environmental factors: diet with low intake of antioxidants(eg Vitamin C); spicy, salty and smoked foods; hot food and drink ; nitrite-rich foods;
  2. Genetic factors: genetic instability; blood group A; increased risk in family members;
  3. Risk conditions: pernicious anemia; Helicobacter Pyloriinfection ; stomach that has already undergone a resection;
  4. Risk injuries: chronic atrophic gastritis; adenomatous polyps; intestinal metaplasia, Ménétrier disease (giant hypertrophic gastritis).

The symptoms of stomach cancer

The main symptoms of gastric cancer are weight loss , anorexia and fatigue (lack of energy and lack of physical strength). Other symptoms may include dysphagia (disturbed swallowing) and vomiting.

Secondary symptoms include abdominal pain , nausea, melena (dark stools due to blood digestion), early satiety and ulcerative pain.

The diagnosis of stomach cancer

The diagnosis of stomach cancer is often difficult in the early stages, as the disease has few symptoms; it is only at an advanced stage that the disease gives more evident symptoms. For this reason, it is important that people at risk keep their attention high, precisely to avoid diagnostic delays.

There are clinical aspects that help the doctor understand that the lesion is in an advanced stage: anemia , palpable abdominal mass, Troisier sign (palpable supraclavicular lymph node), hepatomegaly, jaundice, ascites (collection of serous fluid in the peritoneal cavity) and cachexia (general decay).

The diagnosis is made endoscopically and biopsically and, unfortunately, there are no specific serum markers. CT is essential for evaluating the spread of the tumor and the presence of metastases

 

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