Cancer of the stomach is an aggressive tumor. It can involve either a part or the entire stomach. Certain factors increase the risk and these include a diet with high salt content particularly salted and smoked meats, low intake of fruits and vegetables (which are rich in vitamins); infection with a bacteria known as Helicobacter Pylori; smoking; long history of stomach inflammation and family history of cancer.
In the early stage of the disease, the symptoms are generally nonspecific and because of this patients tend to present late. As the disease progresses, the patients become symptomatic with abdominal pain, early satiety after food intake and vomiting. Further disease progression results in weight loss, loss of appetite, or blood in the vomitus. As the early symptoms are non-specific, any patient with unexplained dyspeptic symptoms not responding to medical treatment should undergo an upper G.I endoscopy.
When a stomach cancer is suspected in a patient, the first investigation that is done is an upper G.I endoscopy with biopsy. This is followed by other investigations including a CT scan or PET scan. Multimodality treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy is used the management of stomach cancer. Surgery is the mainstay of treatment and involves removing the affected portion of the stomach along with the lymph nodes. The surgery can be performed laparoscopically with good outcomes. After surgery the patient is allowed oral diet after 3-4 days and are discharged from the hospital by 5-7 days.