Stomach cancer or gastric cancer is labelled as a silent cancer because its signs are generally visible in the later stages. And, just like every other form of cancer, there are a number of myths associated with stomach cancer as well. These myths can cause unnecessary stress among the patients, therefore it is vital to know the facts.
Myths and facts about stomach cancer:
There is no cure for stomach cancer
The fact is stomach cancer is treatable, except for the most advanced stage of cancer (stage IV), wherein the success of the treatment is quite difficult. Generally, stomach cancer is treated with the help of surgery, along with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Repeated episodes of indigestion means you have stomach cancer
You must know that indigestion doesn't always mean you have stomach cancer. However, it certainly is one of the signs of stomach cancer. In case there is recent onset of indigestion (from 2 weeks to a few months) with loss of appetite, weight loss and vomiting, then you must get yourself tested.
Stomach cancer is not common
The occurrence of stomach varies. It may be more common in some areas and may not be that common in other areas. Take note that stomach cancer is one of the very common types of cancer. In India, stomach cancer is more common in southern and north-eastern, however it can happen to anyone, then no matter which part of the county you are residing in.
You can have stomach cancer only if you experience pain
In the early stages of stomach cancer, symptoms are either absent or very mild hence, they are usually neglected. This leads to delay in diagnosis. It needs to be understood that absence of pain does not mean that cancer cannot be there. Slight fullness in the upper abdomen, decrease in appetite, etc. can be signs of stomach cancer.
Not inhaling cigarette smoke means you cannot have stomach cancer.
This is not true. You need to know that the smoke from cigarettes you smoke always finds a way to enter into your body and you can get this passively without knowing you are inhaling it. Another important fact that you need to know is that smoking is a major risk factor for stomach cancer.
So, do not go by the myths you hear from people around you. Instead, if you have any doubts in your mind, discuss them with your doctor for a better understanding of the facts.