National Stomach Cancer Awareness

By November 11, 2014Archives

It is not widely known or recognized; however, stomach cancers fall at number four on the list of most common forms of cancer. These types of cancers are the second principal cause of death across the globe. The overall survival rate for stomach cancers is an estimated 26%. This makes November an extremely important time as it is National Stomach cancer awareness month.

Stomach Cancer Prevalence
Medical science states that 6 out of 10 individuals who are diagnosed with stomach cancer every year are 65 years of age or above and the most common age is around 69. It further says that approximately 1 out of every 111 individuals is likely to develop stomach cancer at one point within his/her lifetime. Men are more likely than women to fall victim to this form of cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s approximations for the year 2014:

  • There will be 22,220 cases of stomach cancer diagnosed just within the United States.
  • 13,730 of these cases will be men, while 8,490 will be women.
  • 10,990 cases of stomach cancer will result in death.
  • 6,720 men will die, while 4,270 of terminal cases will be women.

Causes and/or Links to Stomach Cancer
The precise cause of all cases of stomach cancer is extremely elusive. There are a number of influences that are believed to dramatically increase the risks of developing this type of cancer. Some of these include statistics such as:

  • Men are more than twice as likely to develop stomach cancer.
  • Asian and African Americans are more apt to develop this cancer.
  • Many genetic abnormalities are thought to influence the risk of developing stomach cancer.
  • Those who reside in what was formally the Soviet Union, parts of South and Central America, and Japan are at a higher risk for this particular cancer.
  • Individuals who have the blood type A are believed to be at an increased risk.
  • Those with a family history pertaining to gastric cancer are at least twice as likely to be diagnosed with it.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
The symptoms of the beginning stages stomach cancer, as well as later stages, can mimic stomach ulcers. For example, patients may present with stomach discomfort; indigestion; feeling bloated after meals; nausea; heartburn; and loss of appetite. It is important to understand that individuals may not present with advanced symptoms until the cancer is later stages. Patients in the later stages of this cancer may exhibit symptoms such as discomfort in the middle or upper region of the abdomen; tarry, black, or bloody stools; vomiting blood or in general; weight loss; bloating, discomfort, or even pain after meals; and weakness or fatigue in conjunction with mild anemia.

Treatments for Stomach Cancer
The treatments recommended for stomach cancer are greatly dependent upon which stage it is in as well as each individual case. At stage 0 surgery is generally effective and chemotherapy or radiation are not required. At stage IA subtotal or total gastrectomy may be required as well as local lymph node removal. Stage IB is a little more complicated and total gastrectomy as well as chemo or chemo radiation are recommended. Treatment for stage II stomach cancer is much the same, save for the that surgery is often more extensive. Stage IV has the potential to metastasize to other organs. This means the treatments of surgery and chemo or radiation therapy are much more invasive.

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