What are the Signs of Stomach Cancer Based on its Stages?
According to the National Cancer Institute, 21,000 people were diagnosed with gastric cancer in the United States in 2010. 10,570 people lost their lives owing to this ailment. Signs of stomach cancer are asymptomatic in the early stages and evade the diagnostic procedures. Unfortunately, the disease has very poor prognosis. Awareness of the symptoms can prove handy in commencement of the treatment. This article tries to understand them in a stage-wise manner.
Stage-wise Signs of Stomach Cancer:
Early Stage or Stage 1 Symptoms of Gastric Neoplasm
- Abdominal comfort
- Loss of appetite
Middle Stage or Stage 2 Signs of Gastric Neoplasm
- Bloating of the belly after having meals
Late Stage or Stage 3 Signs of Gastric Neoplasm
- Occasional vomiting
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain in the upper section
- Anemia – Presence of very low count of red blood cells which carry oxygen to them
- Blood in the stool
- Vomiting blood
- Dysphagia – Difficulty in swallowing
- Acanthosis nigricans – brown to black hyper pigmentation of the folded areas of the skin
- Tripe palms – Hyperplasia (building of extra cells) on the palm skin
- Leser-Trelat symptoms – Formation of skin lesions
The above mentioned signs are notorious of mimicking the symptoms of other ailments of the stomach like gastric ulcer, tropical sprue and stomach virus. Medical specialists like a gastroenterologist or an oncologist can diagnose these signs.
Diagnosis of Cancer in the Stomach
The following are the diagnostic tests and tools available to find the indicators of neoplasm:
- Asking the medical history of the patient
- Physical examination
- Gastrolscopic exam – A flexible tube with camera attached at one end is inserted to view the organ
- Upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract radiography
- Computer tomography of the abdomen
- Biopsy with histological analysis
- Optical coherence tomography – Method involving acquisition and processing of the optical signals
- Complete blood count
- Stool test
Statistics reveal that in 80-90 percent cases,signs of stomach cancer are diagnosed to be in the last stage. Owing to this challenge, these symptoms cannot be ignored right from the initial moments of observation.