Stomach Cancer, Cause, Signs and Symptoms.

Stomach Cancer, Cause, Signs and Symptoms.

Stomach

Stomach is the food reservoir of our body for the ingested food. It lies between esophagus and small intestine. It breaks down the food like grinding by churning action. A very important part of our body, none the less, most commonly affected one, health wise. Be it gastritis, be it ulceration be it cancer, each one is common all over the world. And Stomach Cancer is the most feared one.

Introduction

Stomach cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the world. If presented early, prognosis is goodand eminently curable but irony is that, it is diagnosed mostly in advanced stage. Take for example, a Christian Apologetic, Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, who was diagnosed with stage 4 Stomach Cancer and struggled for one year, and died of this cancer few months back.

Distribution

It is more common in Japan, China than America and Europe put together, making it more of an environmental disease. Men are more commonly affected than women and incidence increases with age. If we talk about which part of stomach, then most common part involved is gastro-esophageal junction (or simply proximal stomach).

Causes of Stomach Cancer

So lets see what really cause this stomach cancer, so that we might be careful with ourselves so as to fight it.

  1. Infection with Helicobacter pylori:- A very common disease, seen in many people is stomach ulcer, caused by this bacteria named Helicobacter pylori. one of the cause of stomach cancer. But there are other more important factors than this as there are still insufficient evidences to prove that eradication of this bacteria has decreased the incidence of stomach cancer.
  2. Gastric surgery:- Those who have undergone gastric surgery for ulcer are actually at higher risk to develop stomach cancer, almost 4 times more at risk.
  3. Gastro-esophageal re-flux disease (GORD):- Also called water brash, reflux acid increase the risk of cancer, because it causes columnar metaplasia, meaning that the squamous epithelium of the junction between stomach and esophagus is changed to columnar epithelium, which if not treated, may proceed to dysplasia and ultimately neoplasia (cancer).
  4. Diet:- One of the most important cause of stomach cancer is diet. Ingestion of under cooked food, smoked foods, beverages are well known to cause the cancer. We can see why it is more common in countries like Japan where people eat under cooked foods.
  5. Cigarette smoking:- No any part of body can escape the outrageous hazards of smoking. People think smoking causes only lung cancer, but no! Smoking can cause cancer from head to toe and stomach is one of them! Better to avoid these rough habits.
  6. Less commonly known but important factors are Pernicious anemia and gastric atrophy, which are autoimmune condition. People with these condition are also at risk of developing stomach cancer.
  7. Ingestion of acids also cause chronic gastritis and slowly progressing to cancer.

Symptoms and Signs of Stomach Cancer:-

Early stage stomach cancer may present with only indigestion, which people mistake with acidity and start antacids themselves ignoring the fact that they actually need to consult doctor. And ultimately  present with late stage with many obvious symptoms. Such as these:-

  1. Indigestion off course
  2. Early satiety, not much space or desire to eat
  3. Bloating after meal, or simply abdominal discomfort
  4. Abdominal distension
  5. Anemia, to be specific, Iron Deficiency Anemia, because the tumor that grows also bleeds.
  6. Also, tumor may cause dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) , Vomiting, obstruction in passage of food from stomach to intestine
  7. Stomach pain, weight loss, weakness

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