Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, most often occurs in people aged 55 or older, and as the 15th most common adult cancer in the UK, it is much less common than it used to be. People with gastric cancer can experience a wide range of symptoms, including increased incidence of indigestion, burping, and acidity; a feeling of fullness after eating only a little food; difficulty swallowing; anaemia; and a risk of serious blood clots. As the disease progresses, other symptoms such as weight loss, loss of appetite, and blood in stool, may develop. Diagnosis is made on the basis of symptoms, examination, blood tests, and procedures such as endoscopy.

Gastric Cancer Treatment

The gastric cancer treatment a patient receives depends on the kind of gastric cancer they have, their overall level of general health, and how far advanced the disease is. For patients who are otherwise in good health, gastric cancer treatment typically includes surgery to remove the cancer from the stomach. Surgery may be carried out in conjunction with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, depending on other factors such as whether or not the cancer has spread from the stomach to lymph nodes or other parts of the body. People with advanced stomach cancer may not receive surgery, but instead may be treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy to limit the spread of the cancer and control symptoms.

Stomach cancer is getting less common. It mainly presents with abdominal pain, vomiting or anaemia. Treatment is by chemotherapy and surgery, with radiotherapy playing a less important role. All cases are discussed in a multidisciplinary meeting with the Royal Marsden Hospital.


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