Find A Doctor

Overview

Nearly everyone has had a stomachache at some point due to different reasons. It generally isn’t taken seriously because it’s quite common. But, on certain occasions, a stomach ache can be indicative of a far more serious problem - digestive track complications, colitis and even cancer. Tackling these conditions at an early stage ensures you a better chance of survival. In cases involving colonic cancer and colitis, timely intervention can save the lives of 70-80per cent of patients. So, make it a point to visit your doctor regularly for check-ups.

Warning signs

  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss (without trying)
  • Abdominal (belly) pain, discomfort
  • A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating a small meal
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, with or without blood
  • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Low red blood cell count (anaemia)

Risk factors

  • A diet high in salty and smoked foods
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Smoking
  • Eating foods contaminated with aflatoxin fungus
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori (a type of bacteria)
  • Long-term stomach inflammation
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Stomach polyps

Progression

  • Stage I: Cancer has grown into the inner layer of the wall of the stomach
  • Stage II: Cancer has grown into the outer muscular layers of the wall of the stomach
  • Stage III: Cancer has grown through all of the layers of the muscle into the connective tissue outside the stomach and has grown into nearby organs or structures
  • Stage IV: Cancer has spread to the liver and to the inside of the abdomen. Less commonly, it can also spread to the lungs.

Diagnosis

Primary diagnosis

Physical examination

Advanced diagnosis

Biopsy, endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, X-ray, barium swallow, computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scan, laparoscopy

Treatment in a nutshell

Your doctors will plan your treatment taking into account how far your cancer has grown or spread (the stage), your general health, your age and level of fitness. The main treatments for stomach cancer are:

Surgery

Based on pathologist's inputs, your doctor will know the stage of cancer and you might have to undergo either a surgery to remove cancer or a surgery to relieve symptoms.

Chemotherapy

You may have chemotherapy on its own or with surgery to treat stomach cancer. You are most likely to have chemotherapy on its own if your cancer is advanced and has already spread. This treatment can often relieve symptoms and may shrink a cancer or slow its growth.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy is not routinely used to treat stomach cancer. In some cases, you may have radiotherapy after surgery to help stop your cancer coming back. This may be given as part of a clinical trial.

Milestones

Laproscopic Total Gastrectomy is performed routinely at Kokilaben Hospital.

Reported Outcome

5 years survival rates

Stage I 80 – 90per cent
Stage II 50 – 60per cent
Stage III 40 per cent
Stage IV 20 per cent

Top tips

  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and little red meat or processed meats.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol.

Our Team

© 2016 Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. All Rights Reserved.