Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, develops due to abnormal growth and multiplication of the cells lining the inner layer of the stomach. Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. The accumulation of these extra cells forms a mass of tissue called tumor.
According to the type of tissue in which the cancer originates stomach cancers are classified as:
The exact cause of stomach cancer is not known, however certain factors such as advancing age, gender, family history, H. pylori infection, diet, smoking, and certain medical conditions may increase your risk of developing stomach cancer.
In the early stages of stomach cancer, you may have indigestion and stomach discomfort, a bloated feeling after eating, mild nausea, loss of appetite, and heartburn.
As the cancer grows you may have weight loss, vomiting blood, blood in the stool, lumpiness in the stomach, tiredness and anemia.
Your doctor can often detect stomach cancer by asking you several questions about the symptoms you are experiencing and performing a thorough physical examination. Certain tests may be ordered and could assist in determining the diagnosis and may include:
Stomach cancer may be treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery. Surgery to remove part or all of the stomach is called gastrectomy.