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Overview

Gastric Cancer: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Gastric cancer can be defined as the cancerous growth of cells at the stomach lining. It is also known as stomach cancer, and is extremely difficult to diagnose. The reason being, that most people typically do not tend to display any signs in the earlier stages. Gastric cancer is caused by the cancerous and out of control growth of cells which as a result forms a tumor. This is a slow and gradual process which develops over many years. Risk factors of gastric cancer are stomach polyps, tumors in parts of digestive tract, H. pylori bacterial infections and lymphoma (a unit of blood cancer). Gastric cancer is quite common among people over the age of 50, men, individuals with a family history of the disease, and usually people who belong to the Belarusian, South American, or Asian descent. You are generally more likely to develop gastric cancer if you don’t exercise or store food properly, have a history of alcohol abuse, have too much meat, or eat a lot of processed or salty food. Diagnosis is done through a physical exam and then goes on through a biopsy, an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans. There is a wide range of treatments available for gastric cancer. This involves radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and immunotherapy.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment of chemotherapy is carried out with the coordination of you and your doctor together. Typically, chemotherapy is given out in the form of pills, IV, or directly injected into the veins. In addition to these forms of treatment, it is also possible to administer chemotherapy in several different ways. Depending on the tumor’s location, chemotherapy is delivered into the tumor directly. In case you undergo a surgery, your doctor will implant certain slow-dissolving disks which tend to release medications over time. Chemotherapy is also delivered in the form of a localized treatment into the part that is affected.

Radiation therapy is the treatment of cancer by the use of radiation beams to eradicate the cancer cells. External beam radiation therapy is the most common form of radiation therapy. This type of therapy is associated with a machine that works by transferring the high-energy beams directly towards the cancerous cells in order to destroy them. The reason why doctors use external beam radiation for all other types of cancer including gastric cancer is because the radiation is targeted at specific sites by the machine. According to a study, nearly half the people with cancer are treated with radiation therapy.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A patient who has a small tumor or is unable to tolerate or afford surgery is eligible for radiation therapy. Someone with locally advanced disease is eligible for surgery.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A patient who is older than 75 years is not eligible for the treatment. Also, pregnant women are not eligible.

Are there any side effects?

There are multiple side effects associated with radiation therapy which include diarrhea, earaches, blistering, dryness, itching peeling, sexual dysfunction, nausea, mouth sores, dry mouth, vomiting, swallowing trouble, swelling, sore throat, urinary difficulties and many more. On the other hand, the side effects associated with chemotherapy are memory and concentration problems, sexual changes, insomnia, lymphedema, infections, anemia, etc.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

It is very important that the patient receives proper follow-up care after the treatment. Even if it seems that the cancer has been completely destroyed or removed, the disease has a tendency to return because of the undetected cancerous cells remaining in the body. Recurrence of cancer cells is regularly monitored by the doctor. Your doctor will recommend you to keep investigating your mouth and come for screening exams regularly. He may do a blood test, x-rays or a complete physical examination. Doctors also urge you to strictly stop the usage of tobacco and consumption of alcohol to prevent recurrence of gastric cancer.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery period depends on which stage of cancer the person is in. An average time period on the basis of a study report is between a year to 4 years for full recovery.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The cost of radiation therapy ranges between Rs. 1,50,000 to Rs. 2,75,000. On the other hand, the cost of cumulative therapy will range somewhere between Rs. 20,00,000 to Rs. 22,00,000.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Your chances of recovery are much more favorable in case the cancerous cells are diagnosed in the early stages and the treatment is started as soon as the onset takes place. In case you are diagnosed in the third or last stage of cancer, then even the treatment might not work to a great extent. Even if the treatment is done perfectly and the cancer cells are eradicated, there may be undiagnosed cells which will develop in mere future. Hence, the treatment can never be permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternative treatments for gastric cancer include turmeric (curcuma longa), mint, thyme, basil and green tea. The usage of these herbs will provide benefit in easing the symptoms associated with gastric cancer.

Safety: Medium Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: High Relative Risk: High Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: High Price Range:

Rs. 20,00,000 - Rs. 22,00,000

Popular Health Tips

Myths About Stomach Cancer That You Should Be Aware Of!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FICS (Surgical Oncology), Fellowship of Association of Indian Surgeons(FAIS), Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery(FMAS) & Reproductive Medicine, Fellowship of Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (FIAGES)
Oncologist, Ghaziabad
Myths About Stomach Cancer That You Should Be Aware Of!

Gastric cancer is more commonly known as stomach cancer. It is usually diagnosed in later stages as symptoms are few in early disease and are often neglected by people. Feeling of fullness in upper abdomen, decrease in hunger, weight loss, weakness, vomiting, are some of the common symptoms. Like all cancers, stomach cancer is shrouded in a culture of myths and baseless facts. Here are some of these myths and actual facts to dispel any doubts: 

  1. It’s not cancer if there is no pain: In the early stages of stomach cancer, symptoms are either absent or very mild so that they are usually neglected. This leads to delay in diagnosis. It needs to be stressed again that absence of pain does not mean that cancer can not be there. Slight fullness in the upper abdomen, decrease in appetite, etc. can be signs of stomach cancer.
  2. Sustained indigestion equals stomach cancer: While it is true that one of the symptoms of stomach cancer is indigestion, burping and/or acidity. But, indigestion doesn't always mean that it is stomach cancer. Most of the times, indigestion is not due to cancer. However, if there is recent onset of indigestion (from 2 weeks to a few months) with loss of appetite, weight loss and vomiting, possibility of cancer should be thought of and testing carried out. 
  3. Stomach cancer is rare: Stomach cancer occurrence varies and it is more common in some areas and much less common in other areas. However, in totality, it is one of the very common cancer types. In India, stomach cancer is more common in southern and north-eastern parts of the country but it can occur in persons in any part of the country. 
  4. Stomach cancer is not genetic: Even though it is not commonly seen as a hereditary disease, stomach cancer can be passed down through the genes, thereby increasing the chances of stomach cancer in people who possess it by 70 to 80 percent. Mutation in the CDH1 gene is usually the reason behind this. Sometimes also known to contribute to breast cancer in women. 
  5. Stomach cancer has no cure: This is a misconception. Except for most advancer stage of cancer (stage IV), stomach cancer can be cured by proper treatment. Surgery is the mainstay of curative treatment for stomach cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also required in addition to surgery in many cases." In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2829 people found this helpful

Know the Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Stomach Cancer

MBBS, DNB Gen Surgery, DNB Surgical Oncology
Oncologist, Bangalore
Know the Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Stomach Cancer

A study conducted by World Health Organization across the globe revealed that approximately 723,000 cancer-related deaths annually, are caused due to stomach cancer. Stomach or gastric cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that form a mass in any part of the stomach. The most common stomach cancer, which has been reported around 90-95% of the total cases, affects the mucosa or the most superficial lining inside the stomach. This type of stomach cancer is referred to as adenocarcinoma.

Causes of Stomach Cancer

Any type of cancer occurs due to a change in the DNA structure, which disrupts the instructions that control the cell growth. However, the exact medical cause of stomach cancer is still unknown, but some common knowledge of the disease may let you know that it can also be caused due to smoking, unhealthy diet and hereditary factors.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

The symptoms of stomach cancer in its early stage is difficult to diagnose. As the initial symptoms are associated with some very common medical conditions, most people fail to recognize them as stomach cancer. This includes, a sensation of feeling full during meal, dysphagia or swallowing difficulties, feeling bloated after meals, excessive rate of burping, heartburn, continuous ingestion, stomach ache that rises to the breastbone, trapped wind and vomiting that contains blood.

As the tumor grows more prominent symptoms starts to appear. They include a staggering condition of dysphagia and extreme indigestion along with unexpected weight loss, continuous sickly feeling or anemic. Symptoms like accumulation of fluid inside stomach, black and bloodied stool, fatigue also constitutes to an advanced stage of stomach cancer.

Treating Stomach Cancer

The treatment of stomach cancer will depend on the stage of cancer and the overall health of the patient. There are several treatments available to treat, not cure, stomach cancer.

Surgery

Surgery involves removal of part or entire stomach along with the surrounding lymph nodes. In subtotal gastronomy, a part of the stomach is surgically removed, whereas, in total gastronomy, the whole stomach is removed. Patient is able to eat normally, though smaller quantities than before. Patients undergoing laparoscopic or robotic surgery recover quicker than those undergoing open surgery. Surgery is the main treatment in cancer.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses energy rays to target and kill the cancerous cells. This, however, is not commonly used to treat stomach cancer as there is a chance of harming the adjacent organs.

Chemotherapy

This treatment uses drugs to stop the fast division and multiplication of the cancerous cells and shrink the tumor. The drugs for chemotherapy are known as cytotoxic medicines, and they travel through the whole body to attack the particular affected area and other areas where cancer is located.

These are just a few, there are many more treatments that have brought results in treating and controlling stomach cancer, and the doctor will advise on the procedure most suitable for any particular condition. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.

2799 people found this helpful

Reduce the Risk of Cancer - Get Tips!

MBBS, MD - Oncology, DNB - Super Speciality, Immuno Oncology
Oncologist, Delhi
Reduce the Risk of Cancer - Get Tips!

We live in an age where every single individual, more or less, is exposed to the risk of cancer. It is probably an unfavorable lifestyle we lead that deprives us of good health. This might alarm many but considerable changes in lifestyle can help you realize cancer as a preventable disease. Cancer does not only make you undergo severe suffering but it also affects your friends and family. The pallor of misery spreads wider than you think.

  • Abstain from tobacco: Consuming raw tobacco or smoking tobacco can be equally detrimental to your health. Tobacco increases your chances of contracting the disease. As is known, passive smoking can also affect your health adversely. Tobacco can be the potential cause behind cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, lungs, oral cavity and even the pancreas. It might harm your kidneys and cervix. It is upon you to quit tobacco at the earliest possible. One should also try and persuade friends and relatives to give up smoking.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation: Complete abstinence from alcohol might not be possible if you have already been ushered into your work- life. The society might require you to be an occasional drinker. It is important to drink in moderation. Crossing the limit can propel consequences as serious as cancer of the stomach, pancreas, liver and the heart.
  • A balanced and nutritious dietDeciding on a plant- based diet or a Mediterranean diet can aid your fight against the risk of cancer. A Mediterranean diet will involve green leafy vegetables, lots of fresh fruits, whole grains, mixed nuts, legumes and also the use of extra- virgin olive oil. Fish can be a safe bet but red meat should be avoided. One must also try to avoid processed meat as they tend to make you prone to the risk of cancer.
  • Immunization: Hepatitis B and HPV or Human papilloma virus vaccines are extremely necessary to protect you against the sexually transmitted types of cancer.
  • Sun protection: Caring for your skin doesn't arise from vanity. Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent kinds of cancer; the chances of this disease can be restricted by remaining in shade especially during midday, by wearing covered clothes and by using a good sunscreen lotion repeatedly while outside.
  • Exercise diligently: Did you think it was okay to have weaker muscles and bulging layers of fat? If yes, you probably have grown numb to the inadequacies you face in result. Unchecked fat can lead to obesity which further complicates health conditions. Metabolic activity differs from person to person. Regular exercising can help regulate metabolism according to the needs of your body. Physical exercise protects you against the risk of breast and colon cancer. Moderate or vigorous physical activity for 150 to 75 minutes a week respectively can reduce the risk of cancer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a oncologist.
4012 people found this helpful

Surgery and Post Surgery Care for Ulcerative Colitis

Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
General Surgeon, Mohali
Surgery and Post Surgery Care for Ulcerative Colitis

This is a disease that affects the large intestine and the rectum. The Ulcerative Colitis refers to the inflammation in the innermost lining of the large intestine. The main function of the large intestine is to absorb water from indigestible food matter in the body before throwing away any waste. Hence, the large intestine is a vital part of our body. If left untreated, the disease increases risk of colon cancer.

Symptoms:

  1. Diarrhea with blood or pus: A person suffering from Ulcerative Colitis is likely to suffer from loose stools accompanied with blood or pus.
  2. Stomach pain and Cramping: In many cases, patients complain of severe stomach pain and cramping.
  3. Rectal pain: At times, many patients feel pain while sitting or even after a bowel movement.
  4. Bleeding from the rectum: Bleeding can be observed while passing stools.

The other complications leading to this disease are kidney stones, swelling of the colon, thickening of intestinal walls and blood infection.

Diagnosis:
This disease can be diagnosed by several methods. A simple stool test may be done to check out for bacteria and parasites. A blood test to check the level of C-reactive protein helps determine the inflation rate of the body. Endoscopy, colonoscopy, biopsy are some other methods of diagnosis.

Treatment

  1. Oral medication: Treatment involves drug therapy or surgery. The first step in treating Ulcerative Colitis will be an intake of anti-inflammatory drugs, but these may have a side effect. Another option is immune system suppressors, which help to bring down the inflammation by suppressing the immune system response. Antibiotics, anti-diarrheal medications, pain relievers are some of the additional drug supplements recommended by doctors.
  2. Surgery: Surgery plays an important role because this disease is pre-malignant in nature. Depending on the severity of the condition, the medical practitioner may advice surgery. The common methods of surgery are:
    1. Proctocolectomy and Ileostomy: Proctocolectomy involves removal of the colon in part or whole. Ileostomy is carried out by placing a special bag in the small intestine to collect waste from the body.
    2. Proctocolectomy and Ileo-anal: Ileo-anal pouch is a bag directly created the small intestine and connected to the anus, for diffusing the stools. As colon is removed Ulcerative Colitis cannot re-occur.

Precautions after surgery
It is very important that the patient takes healthy, sufficient and nutritious food so that bowel movement can be carried out with ease and zero strain. The patient has to restrict lifting of heavy grocery, mowing the lawn, any physical activity that can strain the abdomen and related areas.

3410 people found this helpful

Causes and Symtoms of Stomach Cancer

European Society For Medical Oncology certification, DM - Oncology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS, Fellowship in Bone Marrow Transplant
Oncologist, Faridabad
Causes and Symtoms of Stomach Cancer

A study conducted by World Health Organization across the globe revealed that approximately 723,000 cancer-related deaths annually, are caused due to stomach cancer. Stomach or gastric cancer is the growth of abnormal cells that form a mass in any part of the stomach. The most common stomach cancer, which has been reported around 90-95% of the total cases, affects the mucosa or the most superficial lining inside the stomach. This type of stomach cancer is referred to as adenocarcinoma.

Causes of Stomach Cancer

Any type of cancer occurs due to a change in the DNA structure, which disrupts the instructions that control the cell growth. However, the exact medical cause of stomach cancer is still unknown, but some common knowledge of the disease may let you know that it can also be caused due to smoking, unhealthy diet and hereditary factors.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

The symptoms of stomach cancer in its early stage is difficult to diagnose. As the initial symptoms are associated with some very common medical conditions, most people fail to recognize them as stomach cancer. This includes, a sensation of feeling full during meal, dysphagia or swallowing difficulties, feeling bloated after meals, excessive rate of burping, heartburn, continuous ingestion, stomach ache that rises to the breastbone, trapped wind and vomiting that contains blood.

As the tumor grows more prominent symptoms starts to appear. They include a staggering condition of dysphagia and extreme indigestion along with unexpected weight loss, continuous sickly feeling or anemic. Symptoms like accumulation of fluid inside stomach, black and bloodied stool, fatigue also constitutes to an advanced stage of stomach cancer.

Treating Stomach Cancer

The treatment of stomach cancer will depend on the stage of cancer and the overall health of the patient. There are several treatments available to treat, not cure, stomach cancer.

Surgery

Surgery involves removal of part or entire stomach along with the surrounding lymph nodes. In subtotal gastronomy, a part of the stomach is surgically removed, whereas, in total gastronomy, the whole stomach is removed. Patient is able to eat normally, though smaller quantities than before. Patients undergoing laparoscopic or robotic surgery recover quicker than those undergoing open surgery. Surgery is the main treatment in cancer.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses energy rays to target and kill the cancerous cells. This, however, is not commonly used to treat stomach cancer as there is a chance of harming the adjacent organs.

Chemotherapy

This treatment uses drugs to stop the fast division and multiplication of the cancerous cells and shrink the tumor. The drugs for chemotherapy are known as cytotoxic medicines, and they travel through the whole body to attack the particular affected area and other areas where cancer is located.

These are just a few, there are many more treatments that have brought results in treating and controlling stomach cancer, and the doctor will advise on the procedure most suitable for any particular condition.

10 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My father is 89 years old and is suffering from stomach cancer. Cancer was detected about 40 days ago after endoscopy and biopsy. The treating doctor (gastroenterologist) says that there is no point in going for treatment and advised us to go for palliative care. At present the pain is minimal. In case the pain increases and other symptoms like fullness in stomach, vomiting, bloating, difficulty in swallowing and other symptoms get aggravated, he may require palliative care. Please help me in locating a palliative care unit / doctor in Bhubaneswar with specialisation in giving palliative care to stomach cancer patients. With regards.

MBBS, MD - Medicine, MD - Oncology, Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FRSTM & H)
Oncologist, Delhi
Please get advice from the oncologist. No age is contraindication for curative treatment if possible otherwise palliative treatment can be given by your family physician. This treatment is a symptomatic treatment and cannot continue for long time. Palliative treatment may involve even surgery as well. So oncologist opinion should be sought.
8 people found this helpful

She is my friend's mother. She is suffering from Cancer in intestine and day by her situation is getting so critical, and today doctor said that it is now affecting her liver, sir what can we do please help us .guide us.

MBBS, MD - Radiothrapy
Oncologist, Navi Mumbai
According to your description, it is probably metastatic disease with patient in bad general condition. Although for intestinal cancer, liver lesions can be treated with multiple modalities but if pt is in bad shape thn it won't work.

My age is 62 female.in 2013 I had Whipple surgery for duodenal carcinoma, ist stage. Till now everything is OK but last 4-5 days I feel stomach pain and some air from chest to down. I feel uncomfortable some time and can't stand then I sit down and feel OK. Whole day 3-4 times pain start and go, is there any serious problem.

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Sexologist, Haldwani
May be Digestion Prob gas will Execs in Stomach's You Take Been (asafetida in Homeopathy Q )only Two Drops in1/4 Cup of Water two Time. And take 5Phose 30X ,Four Tab ,Three time A day with Warm Water.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?