Abdominal Pain Or Discomfort
Everyone gets stomach aches every so often. However, pain or discomfort in the abdomen is one of the common warning signs of stomach cancer, especially when it occurs above the navel. Stomach cancer can also cause swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen.
The abnormal growth of cells that start in the stomach can place pressure on nearby organs and irritate the lining of the abdomen. As such, you should seek medical attention if these symptoms last more than a couple of days.
What Are The Different Types Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the name for a category of cancer. There are many different types of stomach cancer:
- Adenocarcinoma: Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of gastric cancer, comprising more than 90% of all stomach cancers. Carcinoma that occurs in the innermost lining of the stomach.
- Lymphoma: Cancer of the immune system that accounts for 4% of all stomach cancer, which is not from the mucosa of the stomach lining. It is broken up into primary and secondary lymphoma of the stomach.
- Primary lymphoma involves the stomach and can eventually affect the lymph nodes, bone marrow and other parts of the body.
- Secondary lymphoma initially involves other parts of the body, like circulating blood, lymph nodes, bone marrow and other organs. Secondarily, cancer spreads to the stomach.
Changes To Bowel Habits
Pancreatic cancer can cause diarrhoea and constipation . If you are over 60, have lost weight and have diarrhoea or constipation, your GP should refer you for a CT scan or ultrasound scan within two weeks.
Pancreatic cancer can also cause pale, oily poo which is called steatorrhoea. Poo may be large, smell horrible, float and can be difficult to flush down the toilet. This is caused by fat in the poo. It happens if pancreatic cancer has affected your digestion, so that fat in your food isnt digested properly.
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Stomach Cancer: Surgeon Explains The Symptoms
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The American Society of Clinical Oncology lists feeling sick, as well as being sick, as a potential sign of stomach cancer. It warns to be extra wary if you are vomiting up solid food shortly after eating. It says symptoms of the disease can be vague meaning they can go unrecognised.
When To Seek Help
According to the NHS, if you recognise one or more of the symptoms of bowel cancer or if your bloating symptoms persist, consult your GP to rule out a more serious condition.
In most cases, however, simple lifestyle adjustments should help to alleviate your bloating.
If you get constipation, for example, take steps to prevent it by adding more fibre to your diet, drinking lots of fluids and exercising regularly, advises the NHS.
Even a 20 to 30 minute brisk walk four times a week can improve your bowel function, explains the health body.
It is also worth keeping a food diary as this can help to determine whether your bloating is caused by a food intolerance.
The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the problem food or cut it out completely, adds the NHS.
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Symptoms That Resemble Other Conditions
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer may be similar to those of other conditions or medical problems, which can delay diagnosis even further. Upon diagnosis, patients often look back and start to make a connection between various symptoms that seemed unrelated or unremarkable at the time.
Listen to your body and consult with your doctor about any new symptoms you may be experiencing, even if you think they can be explained. While cancer is probably not the culprit, diagnostic tests can help to confirm the case.
Causes Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is caused by changes in the cells of the stomach, although it’s unclear exactly why these changes occur.
Cancer begins with a change in the structure of the DNA in cells, which can affect how they grow. This means cells grow and reproduce uncontrollably, producing a lump of tissue called a tumour.
Left untreated, cancer can spread to other parts of the body, usually through the lymphatic system .
Once the cancer reaches your lymphatic system, it’s capable of spreading to other parts of your body, including your blood, bones and organs.
It’s not known what triggers the changes in DNA that lead to stomach cancer and why only a small number of people develop the condition.
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Common Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
The following are the most common signs of exocrine pancreatic cancerspecifically for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. This cancer starts in the ducts of the pancreas and represents more than 90 percent of all diagnoses. Neuroendocrine tumors are much less common and may present different symptoms.
Patients may experience symptoms differently and should not expect to manifest all symptoms listed.
Comparison With Existing Literature
It has been shown previously that abdominal symptoms commonly precede diagnoses of abdominal cancers., This study provides a more detailed description of different symptoms located in the abdominal region. Such symptoms should alert clinicians to the possibility of abdominal cancers, without it being forgotten that they may also act as lower-risk symptoms in relation to other cancers.
Higher risk of cancer in males who have symptoms compared with females who have similar symptoms, and the cumulative effect of multiple symptoms, are consistent with findings from a primary care-based, colorectal cancer study by Lawrenson et al. Hippisley-Cox and Coupland, also used a large primary care database and included information from the patients medical history and on anaemia, as well as combining different abdominal symptoms and constructing diagnostic algorithms. They analysed HRs and found values not dissimilar to the ones resulting from this study, with especially high values for haematuria in relation to renal tract cancer, and rectal bleeding in relation to colorectal cancer.
Some of the symptoms studied here have been shown in previous studies to have higher PPV for specified types of cancer, and specific age groups this is consistent with the findings presented here. Referral guidelines may be interpreted and applied differently in different GP practices, and GP knowledge of PPV values may have an impact on reducing variation in referral thresholds.
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What Are The Main Causes Of Stomach Cancer
There is no single cause of stomach cancer and sometimes it happens without any known risk factors. Lifestyle choices can increase the likelihood of stomach cancer. However, those who experience long-term stomach inflammation from either lifestyle choices or chronic illness are at higher risk.
The common causes of stomach cancer are often related to a medical history that includes:
- H. pylori bacterial infections: A common stomach infection that often causes ulcers.
- Tumors: Other tumors occurring elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stomach polyps: Abnormal tissue growth in the stomach lining.
- Stomach reflex
There are lifestyle changes you can make that may decrease your risk of stomach cancer. These include:
- Having a healthy diet and avoiding
- Processed foods
- Salted foods or increased sodium
Risk factors for stomach cancer that you cannot change, include:
- Your age
- Being male
- Being of Asian, South American or Belarusian descent
- Having a family history of stomach cancer
- Having a history of stomach surgery
- Having pernicious anemia, which is a vitamin deficiency that may be related to either lifestyle or disease
Why Your Abdomen May Hurt
Discomfort in the abdomen can have many causes. Digestive, urinary, and reproductive organs all reside in the abdomen, and issues with organs in the chest or genitals can also contribute to abdominal pain.
Possible causes of abdominal pain include:
- Appendicitis: an inflammation of the appendix
- Diverticulitis: an infection in the intestine
- Gallstones: stones that form in the gallbladder
- Abscess: a collection of pus
- Kidney stones: stones that form in the kidneys
- Bowel perforation: a hole in the wall of the bowel
- Perforated ulcer: a hole in the wall of the intestine or stomach
- Pancreatitis: inflammation of the pancreas
- Ruptured ovarian cyst: cyst on the ovary that breaks open
- Ectopic pregnancy: pregnancy that develops outside the uterus
Abdominal pain can also indicate cancer. Thats why its important to pay attention to pain in the abdominal area.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Bowel Cancer
One of the biggest factor is age, because the disease largely affects people in their 60s. If you are over 50, you are more at risk of developing the cancer.
Your risk of having bowel cancer is also heightened if one of your close relatives had it. This applies to first degree relative, such as mother or father, brother or sister.
The risk increases further is more than one of your relatives was diagnosed with the condition.
This is because about five to 10 per cent of all bowel cancer cases are thought to be caused by a change in a known gene.
If a relative shares the same change gene, they might be more at risk to develop the cancer as well.
Having a history of developing polyps – small growths – in the abdomen is also a risk factor for bowel cancer.
Polyps are benign and are very common, affecting one in four people aged 50 or over.
Some polyps disappear on their own, but others can be surgically removed. It is believed removing the polyps is one of the best way to prevent them turning into cancer.
While most polyps don’t turn out to be cancerous, some can turn into cancer if they are not removed, which is why screening for polyps is important.
Crohn’s Disease and gut health
Research found that there might be a link between Crohn’s Disease and bowel cancer.
This is because diseases like Crohn’s or Inflammatory Bowel Disease create an inflammatory reaction in the bowels that could lead to the development of abnormal cells.
Unexpected weight loss
Indigestion That Doesn’t Go Away And Burping
You can get indigestion when acid from the stomach goes back up into the food pipe . Or you can get it if you have any irritation in your stomach. This often happens after eating .
Remember, indigestion is common and it’s not usually caused by cancer. Indigestion and heartburn can be very painful, even if nothings seriously wrong. See your doctor if youve had heartburn most days for 3 weeks or more.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer
Gastric cancer presents differently, Dr. Alexander says. The usual presentation is with nausea, weight loss, and upper abdominal pain. Symptoms of more advanced stomach cancer can include vomiting, stomach pain, weakness, frequent burping, jaundice, fluid buildup in the abdomen, and trouble swallowing. If youve got something down in the pit of the stomach that is present 24/7 or continual pain in the abdomen, these symptoms suggest gastric cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms: Location Matters
Initially, pancreatic cancer tends to be silent and painless as it grows. By the time it’s large enough to cause symptoms, pancreatic cancer has generally grown outside the pancreas. Because of the location of the pancreas in the body, symptoms include:
- Jaundice. As pancreatic cancer blocks duct that releases bile into the intestine , the ingredients of bile build up in the blood. This turns the skin and the eyes yellow, a condition called jaundice. The same blockage causes dark urine, light colored stools, and itching.
- Abdominal pain. Pancreatic cancer can cause a dull ache in the upper abdomen radiating to the back. The pain may come and go.
- Back pain.
- Bloating. Some people with pancreatic cancer have a sense of early fullness with meals or an uncomfortable swelling in the abdomen.
In general, symptoms appear earlier from cancers in the head of the pancreas, compared to those in the body and tail. Keep in mind that having any or all of these symptoms doesnât mean a person has pancreatic cancer. There are many other causes for these types of symptoms.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often doesnt cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. The symptoms may not be specific to pancreatic cancer, and they may come and go to begin with. This can make pancreatic cancer hard to diagnose.
These symptoms can be caused by lots of things, and are unlikely to be pancreatic cancer. If you are not feeling well and you have any of the symptoms on this page, speak to your GP to check if there is anything wrong.
Common symptoms include:
Total Gastrectomy Or Oesophagogastrectomy
If your cancer is in the middle or at the top of your stomach, you may need to have a total gastrectomy. If the cancer is close to the end of your oesophagus, where it meets your stomach, you may need to have an oesophagogastrectomy.
If you have a total gastrectomy, the end of your gullet will be joined to the top of your jejunum . If you have an oesophagogastrectomy, the remaining part of your gullet will be joined to your jejunum.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer may cause several signs and symptoms. Women are more likely to have symptoms if the disease has spread, but even early-stage ovarian cancer can cause them. The most common symptoms include:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms such as urgency or frequency
These symptoms are also commonly caused by benign diseases and by cancers of other organs. When they are caused by ovarian cancer, they tend to be persistent and a change from normal for example, they occur more often or are more severe. These symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions, and most of them occur just about as often in women who dont have ovarian cancer. But if you have these symptoms more than 12 times a month, see your doctor so the problem can be found and treated if necessary.
Others symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- Changes in a woman’s period, such as heavier bleeding than normal or irregular bleeding
- Abdominal swelling with weight loss
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Goff, B. A., Mandel, L. S., Drescher, C. W., Urban, N., Gough, S., Schurman, K. M., Patras, J., Mahony, B. S. and Andersen, M. R. , Development of an ovarian cancer symptom index. Cancer, 109: 221-227.
Early Stage Stomach Cancer Symptoms
It is common for people with early stage stomach cancer to experience no symptoms. However, as stomach cancer grows and spreads, it exhibits some telltale signs and symptoms, even while still in the early stages.
Symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain or vague pain just above the belly button area
- Indigestion, heartburn or vomiting
- Loss of or decrease in appetite
- Weakness or fatigue
- Blood in vomit or stool
- A feeling of fullness after small meals
Many symptoms of early stage stomach cancer are also the symptoms of less serious stomach issues. If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to see your doctor. The earlier we diagnose the cancer, the more successfully we can treat it.
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When Should You Get Tested For Gerd Or Stomach Cancer
You should make an appointment with your doctor if you have any concerning symptoms of GERD or stomach cancer including: frequent vomiting throat pain, loss of appetite, or stomach pain that lasts more than a week or unintentional weight loss.
Also important to know: One symptom of GERD is chest pain, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can also be a symptom of a heart attack. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have chest pain especially if you also have a shortness of breath and jaw or arm pain.
Stages Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is staged based on the growth of cancer within the stomach and other parts of the body:
- Stage 0: Abnormal cancer cells are found in the mucosa of the stomach wall.
- Stage I: Tumor is found in situ and cancer cells may have spread to one or two lymph nodes.
- Stage II: Spread of cancer to deeper layers of the stomach and nearby lymph nodes.
- Stage III: Spread of cancer to all layers of the stomach, more lymph nodes, and nearby organs, such as the spleen, pancreas, adrenal gland, abdomen wall, small intestine, colon, abdomen wall, diaphragm, or kidney.
- Stage IV: Spread of cancer to other parts of the body , such as the lungs, bones, liver, lining of the abdomen, and distant lymph nodes. A cure is rarely possible at this stage.
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What Are The Different Stages Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is staged based on the severity of cancerous cell growth and spread. Adenocarcinoma is initially evaluated by the tumor, node metastasis system.
- T: How deeply has the tumor spread into the stomach wall?
- N: Has the stomach cancer spread to the lymph nodes?
- M: Has the stomach cancer spread to other parts of the body?
After the TNM staging information has been taken into account, the cancer is staged at 0 or 1 to 4. Tumor classifications for staging are as follows:
- Stage 0 is early cancer on the surface of the stomach lining.
- Stage 1A or 1B
- Stage 2A or 2B, commonly with deeper stomach wall involved
- Stage 3A or 3B or 3C, commonly with lymph node involvement
- Stage 4 means cancer has metastasized elsewhere in the body outside of the stomach.