Raising Awareness of Gastric Cancer This November

stomach cancer

With the potential to arise almost in the body, cancer is a concerning disease caused by the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of cells. As reported by the American Cancer Society, nearly 26,000 new gastric cancer cases develop each year. Gastric cancer, also referred to stomach cancer, is responsible for about 1.5% of initial cases of cancer diagnosed in U.S. patients. With November being the dedicated Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates wishes to advise the community on the signs and symptoms of this concerning disease and how it can be addressed.

In the event you or someone you love receives a stomach cancer diagnosis, partnering with a gastroenterologist can help ensure you get the specialized care you need. Talk with our team at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA today to learn more.

About gastric cancer

Your stomach is located in the upper abdominal area and is where the foods you eat are stored and digested. If cancer forms within the inner lining of any portion of the stomach, it is referred to as stomach cancer or gastric cancer. Though cancer can arise anywhere within the stomach, among people in the United States, the condition is often found at the gastroesophageal junction, where the esophagus joins the stomach. Gastric cancer has been declining among people in the United States; however, it is a leading source of cancer deaths around the world.

What are the common warning signs of stomach cancer?

Gastric cancer is slow growing and can take more than a year or longer to arise. Since cancer of the stomach is not all that prevalent in the United States, there are no major medical organizations that recommend routine testing for individuals at moderate risk for stomach cancer. The early stages of stomach cancer generally do not produce any obvious symptoms, although patients who do report symptoms may experience:

  • Poor appetite

  • Swelling in the abdomen

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Pain in the abdominal area

  • Frequent queasiness

  • Acid reflux

In the event you or someone you love has any one of these signs or symptoms, it is imperative to receive expert treatment from a New Orleans, LA gastrointestinal specialist as soon as possible. Get in touch with Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates to talk with a digestive health specialist.

What are the risk factors for gastric cancer?

Some patients have a greater chance of developing cancer of the stomach. In some cases, these risk factors include having a genetic predisposition to certain conditions, like Lynch syndrome, which also elevates the chance of uterine cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer. Additional causative factors that can make you more likely to develop gastric cancer include the following:

  • A family history of stomach cancer

  • Previous stomach surgery

  • Smoking

  • Occupational exposure

  • Alcohol use

  • Obesity

  • Being older than 55

  • Being male

Speak with a New Orleans, LA GI specialist to learn about having routine screenings for stomach cancer, like an upper endoscopy, if you are at a greater risk for stomach cancer. You can make an appointment for an upper endoscopy and speak with a gastroenterologist by contacting Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates.

What are the surgical procedures for gastric cancer?

Stomach cancer is commonly addressed via a surgical approach. After the malignant tissue is removed, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be carried out to reduce the likelihood of the cancer returning. Generally speaking, there are three main surgical procedures for the removal of stomach cancer:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection: With this surgery, an endoscope is used to take out the cancerous tissue within the stomach.

  • Total gastrectomy: With this surgical approach, the entire stomach and adjacent lymph nodes are taken out, and a new stomach is recreated from a portion of the small intestine.

  • Subtotal (or partial) gastrectomy: With this gastric cancer surgery, part of the stomach is taken out, and the remaining sections are reconnected. This surgery may include removing surrounding lymph nodes or other tissue as well.

Find stomach cancer treatment in New Orleans, LA

Throughout November, our team is devoting to educating the public about the risks of stomach cancer. If you or someone close to you might have or has been diagnosed with gastric cancer, please be aware that professional care is nearby. Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates is a patient-centric organization of gastroenterologists and a dependable establishment dedicated to gastrointestinal health. Call our facility in New Orleans, LA for more on how a GI specialist can help address your medical needs.