Stomach cancer does not normally produce any symptoms, however you may suffer from loss of appetite and weight or mild indigestion and as the condition progresses the symptoms will become more severe. Stomach cancer usually starts in the tissue lining the stomach. Some tumours either spread around the stomach wall or grow through it and release cancerous cells into the lymphatic system of the bloodstream. As soon as the cancer invades other organs or areas in the body it is extremely difficult to treat and it is usually fatal. Fortunately if stomach cancer is treated before it spreads, it is curable. Symptoms of stomach cancer include:
Abdominal pain, heartburn, indigestion or discomfort which is aggravated by eating
Loss of appetite as well as a bloated feeling after eating small amounts
Fatigue and general weakness
Diarrhoea or constipation, nausea and vomiting after eating a meal
Dark patches in stool
Blood on stool
Stomach cancer usually develops at the site of an existing stomach ulcer, however ulcers are usually not the cause of the disease and it is quite rare for a stomach ulcer to turn cancerous. Stomach cancer can only develop if something has caused the normal cells to mutate or reproduce abnormally. Diet is believed to be a major cause of this type of cancer and the disease is common among people who frequently eat pickled, smoked, barbecued and salted foods, as all of them contain nitrites or other nitrogen compounds that help promote cancer. Other causes are smoking and drinking alcohol. People who are at a higher risk of getting stomach cancer are those that work in metal refineries, mines and who inhale certain dusts and fumes that contain carcinogens.
After who have had stomach surgery, you will probably suffer from diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or dizziness after eating. These symptoms usually disappear after a few months but they can be reduced if you only eat small meals or soft semi-liquid foods, and you avoid eating sweets and drinking liquids while eating.
Drinking plenty of green tea and eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as garlic may help protect stomach cancer. The best way to prevent it is to avoid all pickled, salted, barbecued and smoked foods.
When to seek further professional advice
As soon as you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.
People that suffer with stomach cancer experience severe pain and medication can only offer partial relief, however there are other therapies that may help the person deal with the pain such as meditation, acupuncture, massage, yoga and visualisation.
If stomach cancer is caught in its early stages, it will be treated with surgery, part or all the stomach may have to be removed, along with any surrounding tissue and nearby lymph nodes. If the whole stomach is removed, the patient will need to take extra vitamin B12. Unfortunately most of the cases are too advanced when they are finally diagnosed, radiation and chemotherapy are used to help relieve the symptoms and slow the disease and hopefully prolong life.
The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.