Advanced Gastric Cancer

Advanced Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the stomach. This cancer can be classified either as early or advanced, depending on the stage of the disease.

Advanced-stage gastric cancer is when the cancer cells have spread beyond the stomach and into other areas of the body. At this point, the cancer cannot be cured. However, treatments are available to alleviate symptoms and prolong life.

What Causes Advanced Gastric Cancer?

Most cases of gastric cancer are caused by a combination of two factors: lifestyle and genetics. Factors that are associated with a higher risk of gastric cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Gastric infections, such as H. pylori
  • Family history of gastric cancer

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Advanced Gastric Cancer

The symptoms of advanced gastric cancer vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in stools

Advanced gastric cancer is diagnosed with a physical exam, imaging tests, endoscopy, and sometimes biopsies. Once the cancer is diagnosed, it is staged to determine how far it has spread.

Treatment of Advanced Gastric Cancer

Treatment of advanced-stage gastric cancer is typically palliative, meaning it is aimed at prolonging life rather than curing the disease. Common treatments include:

  • Surgery to remove tumors
  • Chemotherapy for symptom relief and survival benefit
  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted therapy, such as immunotherapy

Outlook for Advanced Gastric Cancer

The prognosis for advanced gastric cancer is generally poor. Depending on the stage of the disease, 5-year survival rates can range from 10-50%. However, treatment can help to manage symptoms, improve the quality of life, and prolong survival.