Stomach cancer or gastric cancer occurs when cancerous cells accumulate in the stomach. Statistics show that over 700,000 deaths occur in the world from stomach cancer every year. Of all the cancers, it is the third most common cancer.
In most cases of stomach cancer, the cancerous cells develop in the mucosa – the layer of the stomach lining that produces mucus.
The signs of stomach cancer –
The symptoms are similar to a number of gastric problems, which makes stomach cancer difficult to spot. In fact, in most cases, stomach cancer is detected only when it has progresses to an advanced stage.
The symptoms of stomach cancer are –
You may vomit blood
Swallowing food may be difficult
You may feel full during meals
There are symptoms that call for an immediate consultation with a doctor. They are – indigestion, swallowing difficulties, vomiting, anaemia, and fatigue. For people over 55 years of age, recurring indigestion problems calls for a visit to the doctor.
What causes stomach cancer?
Like all cancers, it too develops when the cell life cycle goes haywire. The cells that reach the end of their cycle don’t die or new cells are produced uncontrollably. This is caused by DNA changes, which in turn disrupts the transmission of instructions to the cells in the body.
D2 gastrectomy as a solution for stomach cancer
Dissecting lymph nodes is the best way to treat gastric cancer. There are many lymph nodes that surround the stomach. These nodes are divided into two groups – group 1 and group 2. This grouping is done on the basis of how the lymphatic flow occurs in tumour sites.
D2 gastrectomy is carried out on the group 2 lymph nodes. What this means is that parts of the stomach that have turned cancerous are removed surgically. The lymph nodes along the left gastric artery, celiac axis, common hepatic artery, and proper hepatic artery are removed in D2 gastrectomy. The doctor may make minor modifications to the exact lymph nodes based on the location of the tumour.
This remains the primary mode of treatment for stomach cancer cases especially if chemotherapy and other treatment methods fail to produce the desired results.