Stomach Cancer

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is the cancer that originates from the cells of the stomach. Also known as gastric cancer, stomach cancer occurs when the cells of the stomach start multiplying in an abnormal fashion. Most stomach cancer cases involve abnormal growth of cells at the place where the stomach meets the oesophagus. It can, however, also involve the main part of the stomach.

Majority of stomach cancers originate in the lining of the stomach, from where they progress slowly. If left untreated, a tumour is formed which grows deeper into the walls of the stomach. The tumour can also invade the surrounding organs such as the liver and the pancreas.

Although stomach cancer can affect anyone, presence of certain risk factors may increase your susceptibility to developing the disease. Following are some of the risk factors for developing stomach cancer:

  • Age 65 or above
  • Male sex
  • East Asian, Eastern European, or Central American background.

In earlier stages, stomach cancers do not present with symptoms. Even the most common symptoms of stomach cancer such as stomach pain and unexplained weight loss usually don’t show until the cancer has reached an advanced stage.

Following are some of the symptoms of stomach cancer:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Vomiting of blood
  • Black stools
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling of fullness even after having a snack or a small meal

Most of these symptoms are non-specific and are seen in many other conditions. If you think you are suffering from symptoms of stomach cancer, you must visit a healthcare provider to know for sure.

Depending on how advanced the cancer is, your doctor may be able to perceive a mass in the stomach when palpating during a physical examination. However, the symptoms most often involve recognising certain other sensations in the stomach. The stomach may feel full, swollen, or painful. The pain may begin as mild and then progress on to become more intense with the progression of the disease.

If you experience a combination of the symptoms mentioned above persistently that worries you; you can visit Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Navi Mumbai and get an appointment with an expert doctor.

Causes of Stomach Cancer

Like many other cancers, the exact cause of stomach cancer is not known. However, certain risk factors increase the risk of developing stomach cancer. Stomach cancer begins as a result of changes or mutations in a cell of the stomach. Normally, the DNA of a cell regulates its functions, including growth and multiplication. When the DNA is mutated, the cells start multiplying uncontrollably and accumulate, resulting in the formation of a tumour. If left untreated, the tumour tends to spread or metastasise to other body parts with time.

Risk factors for Stomach Cancer

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD
  • Obesity
  • A diet containing excessive amounts of salt and smoked foods
  • A diet deficient in fruits and vegetables
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Long-term gastritis
  • Smoking
  • Presence of polyps in the stomach

Stomach cancer can’t be prevented. But you can take some steps to reduce your risk of developing the disease:

  • If you test positive for Helicobacter pylori infection, seek treatment right away. This is because H. pylori infection is an important risk factor for developing cancer of the stomach. Seek treatment for gastritis, ulcers, and other stomach conditions, especially those that occur as a result of H. pylori infection.
  • Consume a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in red meats and salt. Foods rich in beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and carotenoids such as green, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and carrots are good sources of nutrients, so they decrease the risk of developing stomach cancers.
  • Avoid smoking. Using tobacco in any form increases your susceptibility to developing stomach cancers.
  • Quit smoking: If you are a smoker, look for ways to quit smoking. If you are not, don't start. Smoking increases the risk of developing not only stomach cancer but many other cancers, including lung cancer and bladder cancer. Quitting smoking can be very difficult for a chronic smoker. If you are struggling with it, you can ask a doctor for help. There are techniques and medicines available that help deal with the problem.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight, depending on your body mass index. Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight, you must take measures to lose weight. You can start by cutting out on junk food and increasing your physical activity. If you are within normal weight, you should try to maintain it by consuming a balanced diet and exercising regularly. Decrease the amount of salty and smoked foods in your diet to protect your stomach.
  • Get an appointment with a doctor: If you are at a higher risk of developing stomach cancer, talk to a doctor. Based on the degree of risk and your overall condition, he may suggest you get some screening tests done.

Certain tests and procedures may be used to confirm the diagnosis of stomach cancer:

  • Upper GI endoscopy
    A thin tube-like structure containing a tiny camera is passed down the throat into the stomach to visualise the internal structures for any signs of cancer or abnormality.
  • Biopsy
    This procedure is suggested for highly suspected cases of malignancy. It involves the removal of a sample of the stomach tissue for histopathological testing.
  • Imaging tests
    Imaging tests like barium swallow and CT scans are used to look for stomach cancer.

Tests to find out the extent of stomach cancer

After a diagnosis of cancer is established, it is very important to stage cancer and determine the extent of its spread. Tests used for this purpose include CT scans and PET scans. Sometimes an exploratory surgery is performed to look for signs of the spread of the stomach cancer beyond the stomach. Such a surgery is usually performed using a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach, which means that several small cuts are made in the abdomen instead of a single large one to achieve a speedy recovery.

Staging of the stomach cancer

The information derived from these procedures is used for staging the cancer. The different stages are denoted by Roman numerals that range from 0 to IV. Stage 0 indicates that the cancer is small and confined to the inner layers of the stomach, while stage IV indicates an advanced disease that may have spread to other parts of the body. The staging of cancer plays a very important role in formulating the treatment plan as well as in predicting the prognosis.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore is the best hospital for stomach cancer treatment in Indore. Our oncology team comprises the best doctors for gastric tumours in Indore who combine the quality and technology of the state-of-the-art equipment with their experience and skill. The treatment plan is dependent on many factors, including the location, stage, aggressiveness, and extent of spread of cancer. The patient's overall health and personal choices are also considered while formulating the treatment plan. The mainstay of stomach cancer treatment is surgery, which may be combined with other procedures like chemotherapy and radiation therapy to improve the outcome.


Surgery for stomach cancer aims to remove all of cancer along with a margin of healthy tissue surrounding it.

  • Endoscopic procedures
    For early-stage and small cancers confined to the inner lining of the stomach, endoscopic procedures are used. They involve removing cancer with the help of special tools passed down through the throat into the stomach with the help of an endoscope. Such procedures include endoscopic mucosal resection and endoscopic submucosal resection.
  • Subtotal gastrectomy
    It involves the removal of the part of the stomach affected by cancer along with a portion of healthy tissue surrounding it. It is usually recommended when the cancer is located in the part of the stomach closest to the small intestine.
  • Total gastrectomy
    This surgical procedure is aimed at removing the entire stomach and some surrounding healthy tissue. It is recommended for stomach cancers affecting the body of the stomach and those located in the gastroesophageal junction.
  • Removal of lymph nodes
    If cancer has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes, those need to be removed. Sometimes, the surgeon may even remove the abdominal lymph nodes to test them for cancer.
  • Chemotherapy
    It is a treatment modality that uses specialised substances called chemotherapeutic agents to kill and destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is sometimes given before surgery to shrink cancer so that it can be removed more easily. It is also used post-surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy
    This therapy uses high-powered rays of energy from sources like X-rays and protons to destroy cancer cells. The energy rays come from a machine that revolves around the body of the patient as he lies on a table. Radiation therapy is also used before the operation to shrink the tumour or destroy any remaining cancerous cells after surgery. It is often used together with chemotherapy or targeted therapy. For advanced, surgically non-resectable tumours, radiotherapy may be used to relieve side effects, like pain or bleeding, caused by growing cancer.
  • Targeted drug therapy
    This treatment modality is focused on specific weaknesses present within cancer cells. By targeting these weaknesses, the cancer cells weaken and die. Targeted drugs are usually combined with chemotherapy to treat advanced or recurrent stomach cancers.
  • Immunotherapy
    It is a drug treatment that stimulates the immune system to fight cancer cells more effectively. Sometimes the body's disease-fighting immune system might not attack the cancer cells because the cancer cells produce proteins that mask them from the immune system. Immunotherapy acts by interfering with that process. It is mostly reserved for advanced and metastatic stomach cancers.

Palliative care

Palliative care is specialised medical care that aims to provide relief from pain and other symptoms of cancer or a serious illness rather than cure it. Palliative care specialists at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore work with you, your family and other doctors treating you to give an extra layer of support that supplements your ongoing treatment plan. Palliative care is very important for patients undergoing aggressive treatment procedures, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Using palliative care with all other appropriate cancer treatment modalities makes people with cancer feel better and live longer, fulfilled lives. The palliative care team at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore consists of the best stomach cancer treatment doctors in Indore, specialised nurses and other trained professionals. They work hard to improve the quality of life for patients with cancer and their families.

Coping and support

Although stomach cancers aren’t always preventable, they can be successfully treated if found early. Depending on the type and stage of cancer you have, your doctor may recommend surgery to resect the malignant cells. A combination of different treatment modalities may also be recommended. The prognosis depends on many different factors you can discuss with your healthcare provider.

We at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore acknowledge that a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening, but you will find ways to cope with the negative feelings with time. At this stage it is important to understand your cancer and look at the various treatment options and their prognosis. You can ask your oncologist about your condition and know more about the test results and treatment options. It may help you be more confident in making decisions about the treatment plan. You can also consider joining support groups and meeting with people who are suffering from or have recovered from the same cancer as you. Keep your friends, and family members close and do not hesitate to share your emotional problems with them. Also, do not hesitate to share your symptoms and mental health problems with the oncology team at our hospital throughout the treatment journey. Our team can assist you with appropriate medicines. The oncology team at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore provides the best colon & stomach cancer treatment in Indore. It aims not only to treat your physical symptoms but also to ensure your mental and emotional well being at all times.