We take the food in our mouth and chew it properly to break it down to pieces eventually gulping it down. As we take the gulp, the food passes down the food pipe or esophagus and falls into a muscular sac like organ housing other organs inside of it. Just underneath the diaphragm in our chest cavity, the reign of the stomach starts. The stomach itself creates a juice to help speed up the digestion process which is termed as gastric juices. These juices mix with the pile of rumble food and then process itself. The nutrients and the essential requirements of the body along with the process of digestion is almost half complete until it gets passed onto the intestine for more processing.
For many people the exact stomach is the part starting from the end of the diaphragm to the lower abdomen area, where when we feel pain we clutch onto the part paining and sum up the area underneath the reign of stomach saying we have stomach pain. But in medical terms, the stomach is a muscular bean shaped sac placed on the top half of the body underneath the chest cavity with two pipe like structure entering it from the top and leaving it from underneath.
The stomach is thus divided into five parts. The cardia forms the first part where the esophagus joins itself to the stomach. This meeting point is termed as cardia. The next part is Fundus followed by the Corpus which forms the main body to the stomach. The Antrum is the lower part to Corpus where the gastric juices produced gets mixed with the food and finally lets itself out to the intestine through the leaving tract. This portion is called the Pylorus.
Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer where likely in case of most cancer conditions, production of abnormal cells occur. These cells are irregular in shape and work since they are not yet fully formed and matured. These forms of immature cells turn cancerous and thereby abnormal. Here they start producing and reproducing themselves in a frantic number mush higher than the speed of normal cells. Being cancerous in nature they get the privilege of not dying or disintegrating just like that. Therefore it goes on crowding and takes up all the space for the normal cells leaving them with none. At times a part of this cell breaks away from its crowd and gets carried away through blood vessels to another place where they accumulate and form a timorous condition which too is cancerous in nature. This way it slowly spreads and extends itself.
Stomach cancer vary in size and type according to the cells they affect, the size they expand into and the effects they show. These cells can even work through the stomach linings and stomach wall to the other side and affect other organs. This is why it has been classified accordingly, the main and the most common one being adenocarcinoma. These are the most common type which affects the glandular tissues. When the lymphatic system is affected, the cancer is termed as lymphoma and so on.
Causes And Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer:
In a recent survey conducted, it was revealed that stomach cancer still prevalent has now significantly reduced over the past years but still for the ones who stand a suspect, here are some causes and symptoms of stomach cancer.
Causes Of Stomach Cancer:
1. Helicobacter Pylori Infection:
Helicopter Pylori is a very common bacterium that infects the mucosa or inner lining of the stomach. Infection caused due to this bacterium may lead to swelling in the stomach and even peptic ulcers. Recent studies conducted on H. pylori has showed that people infected with this bacterium are at higher risks of developing stomach cancer as compared to others.
The genes passed on to you by your past generation play an important role in determining whether you will or not. In most cases it has been noticed that the people already having a strong past family history of stomach cancer has often fallen prey for one themselves. However there is a saying that days, genes skip a generation so keep an eye out for yours.
3. Weakened Immune System:
People with weaker immune system have double chances of developing stomach cancer in the later stages of their life. The immune system of body may suppressed due to infection with AIDS/HIV or taking anti-immune depressant drugs after undergoing any organ transplant. Reduced immunity in the body poses a higher risk of Helicobacter Pylori infection, which is one of the main stomach cancer causes.
4. Prolonged Inflammation of Stomach:
Recent researches have concluded that long term inflammation of the stomach that may be caused due to the medical conditions like pernicious anaemia is also one of the main causes of stomach cancer. Also individuals who have undergone surgical removal of a part of the stomach are likely to face stomach inflammation and therefore have higher susceptibility for developing stomach cancer, even several years after the surgery.
5. Stomach Polyps:
Stomach polyps are abnormal growth of tissues that develop in your stomach. These polyps line the gastric membrane and turn out to be one of the potential stomach cancer causes. People who are infected with these polyps are found at higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
6. Stomach Surgery:
Recent studies in the field of cancer have concluded that individuals who have undergone stomach surgery or even surgery of any body part that affects stomach are at higher risk of developing stomach cancer. These surgeries can be anything right from being partial gastrectomy or surgery for stomach ulcer to surgery done to remove a section of vagus nerve (the nerve dedicated to carrying information from the brain to other organs like lungs, heart or digestive systems).
Only when our body has used up all its resources to protect itself from the harmful substances does it give in to the cells which then turn cancerous. Certain elements incompatible with our body if consumed over and over again, might be the cause of stomach or any sort of cancer for that reason. Here we are talking about excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, tobacco smoking and so on. If these are prolonged and continued out body’s immune system gives up and we fall prey to it.
8. Age and Gender:
The chances of developing stomach cancer increases with age. Adults are therefore at higher risk as compared to children and youth. It has been found that more cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed at the age of 55 and above. Also it has been found that men are twice more susceptible for developing stomach cancer as compared to women.
9. Food Factor:
You might be a healthy eater with healthy food habits, but little do you know that some sort of food diet might also be the cause for your stomach cancer. the first link to it is nitrate preserved food followed by a whole lot of canned and fast foods which are high in salt factor. The stomach requires proper nutrition straight out of the fruit basket not the cans. Diet low in fruits and vegetables in proper amount can cause stomach cancer.
10. Exposure To Asbestos:
Asbestos refers to a group of minerals that possess thin microscopic fibers. When products made from asbestos are disturbed, they release these tiny microscopic fibers into the air. These fibers then accumulate in the lungs and gastrointestinal tracts for several years. The accumulation of these fibres in the body can lead to serious health hazards. It has been found that individuals exposed to asbestos for long have large chances of developing stomach cancer.
Stomach cancer in its early stages does not show any visible or specific symptoms and is therefore difficult to be diagnosed. Some of the stomach cancer symptoms may be caused due to other medical conditions, other than cancer. When the symptoms of stomach cancer are not very apparent, it may lead to the advancement of stages, before the cancer is fully diagnosed. Also there are no specific symptoms that are indicative of development of stomach cancer and therefore further testing and evaluation is required to ascertain the condition. The symptoms of stomach cancer may vary depending on the stage and type of gastric cancer.
See More: Symptoms Of Tongue Cancer
Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer:
The Common Symptoms that Follow a Stomach Cancer can be Described as:
1. Heart Burn:
Often due to the stomach acting faulty after the invasion of cancer cells, one might experience heart burn which is a strong stinging pain in the lower chest cavity region just underneath the diaphragm maybe.
2. Feeling of Fullness:
It is one of the early symptoms of stomach cancer. Stomach cancer patients generally tend to feel full even after taking insignificant or small meals. Over time this ‘feeling of fullness’ contributes to loss of appetite and the person loses weight drastically.
Often at times the reason of the heart burn maybe because of the indigestion. On a usual day, the food drops into the stomach through the esophagus and there it mixes with the gastric juices of the stomach and gets processed and then passes it on to the intestine for further processing. This way the digestion process takes place. With the stomach malfunctioning the food is not properly mixed or used in the way it should have leading to the subsidiary problems of indigestion.
Constipation or diarrhoea can also be caused due to stomach cancer. Due to loss of appetite the bowel movements gets restricted and the patient feels constipated all the time.
5. Loss of Appetite:
With indigestion on your heels, often you feel the favorite food you once used to love now seems bland and not so alluring anymore. This loss of appetite can be blamed on for the rise of stomach cancer.
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6. Persistent Vomiting or Nausea:
Vomiting and nausea are very common conditions that can be caused to due to many reasons. They are very nonspecific symptom for detecting stomach cancer. However persistent vomiting or nausea indicates a serious health issue and needs to be checked with the doctor. Traces of blood in the vomit needs to be taken seriously and can should be medically examined.
7. Abdominal Fluid:
The presence of fluid in the abdomen is one of the advanced stomach cancer symptoms. This may start with the feeling of lump in your abdomen. It has been seen that people in their advanced stages of stomach cancer face fluid retention in their abdomen. This condition is medically referred as ascites.
8. Abdominal Pain:
It has been found that pain or discomfort in the abdomen or stomach could be caused due to stomach cancer. The pain is mostly felt in the portion just above the navel. The person with stomach cancer experiences recurrent abdominal pain that is also very severe. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
9. Blood Clots:
The occurrence of blood clots is quite common in individuals with stomach cancer. Whenever you feel breathlessness and sudden chest pain or you have pain in your legs, there could be an occurrence of blood clot in your lungs or leg. Under such condition you must immediately visit your doctor and take the anti-clotting medications prescribed.
10. Blood in the Stool:
In some cases of stomach cancer, bleeding may occur but in the form of vomit. The blood here passes through the digestive tracts. You might witness some drops of blood in your stool or it may appear black due to presence of red blood cells.
Stomach cancer when diagnosed early can easily be treated. So it is important to look out for these symptoms and signs and book an appointment with your physician. After detecting and studying these early symptoms, your physician will recommend you to a specialist to prevent the advancement of stomach cancer.
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