Articles GI Issues

Summary: Learn the risks, causes, and symptoms of stomach cancer, and see how a GI specialist can help you obtain treatment.

Many people likely know someone who has had cancer. You may even be living with this disease. Even though many can identify the signs of breast cancer, skin cancer, or other common types of cancer, stomach cancer is one type that can occur quickly and silently, and frequently isn’t diagnosed until the more advanced stages. To draw attention to this frequently silent disease, November has been named Stomach Cancer Awareness Month.

Continue reading to learn a variety of information you should know about stomach cancer so you might broaden your awareness of this condition and understand how to proceed if you happen to find yourself dealing with this medical concern. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with stomach cancer or are at an elevated risk, please contact GI Associates & Endoscopy Center to request an appointment. Our team of gastroenterologists in Jackson, MS can help you obtain the expert treatment you require.

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer, also referred to as gastric cancer, affects the lives of nearly 30,000 people in the United States every year. It emerges when the cells within the stomach begin to grow beyond control. It frequently arises over the course of several years and begins with premalignant growths in the lining of the stomach. Such developments may go unnoticed given that they don’t typically present any noticeable symptoms.

As assessing for gastric cancer is not conducted as commonly as colorectal cancer, this disease may often go undiagnosed until the condition has advanced or grown quite large. When this stage occurs, individuals will likely start to present with symptoms.

What are the common signs and symptoms of stomach cancer?

As the condition further develops, there are a number of common stomach cancer signs and symptoms that may occur. These may involve:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Heartburn/abdominal discomfort
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Feeling full even after eating a small meal
  • Bloody stool
  • Weakness or fatigue

Should you or a family member experience any of these stomach cancer symptoms, our skilled Jackson, MS gastroenterologists can help. Please contact our team at GI Associates & Endoscopy Center to visit a provider.

Am I at risk for developing gastric cancer?

As reported by the American Cancer Society®, the average age of a patient diagnosed with stomach cancer is 68, and around six out of 10 of those who receive a stomach cancer diagnosis are older than 65 years of age.

There are a range of additional factors that elevate one’s risk of having gastric cancer beyond their age, however, including:

  • Diet (more prevalent among people who eat a high-sodium diet or a large amount of processed food items)
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Weight (more prevalent among obese or overweight people)
  • Geographic location (more prevalent among those from Eastern Europe, East Asia, Central America, and South America)
  • Ethnicity (more prevalent among African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian/Pacific people)
  • Previous stomach problems (such as Menetrier disease, polyps, acid reflux, or stomach ulcers)
  • Occupation (more prevalent among those who are employed in the coal, metal, or rubber industries)
  • Gender (more common among men)
  • Alcohol and tobacco use

How is stomach cancer treated?

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with gastric cancer, our Jackson, MS gastrointestinal doctors can create a dynamic gastric cancer treatment approach depending on the form, stage, and spread.

Treatment options our team might recommend include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or other services. Your doctor will also take your overall health, age, and additional information into account when generating this treatment approach.

Is there a way to avoid stomach cancer?

While there is no surefire method to prevent stomach cancer, there are things you can implement to lessen the risks, including:

  • Not smoking
  • Consuming a balanced diet filled with fresh fruits (especially citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges) and veggies, limited processed or red meats, and whole grains
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Maintaining an ideal weight

Boosting awareness is the first step in preventing stomach cancer

At GI Associates & Endoscopy Center, we aim to help you and your loved ones live healthy, happy lives. Although we are devoted to addressing your GI needs, we are passionate about offering the information required to potentially prevent certain digestive conditions and issues. Since Stomach Cancer Awareness Month is in effect, now is the ideal time to take action. Request a visit with our Jackson, MS gastroenterology specialists to determine your chances of developing stomach cancer and how you can take the initiative today.

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