Honoring Stomach Cancer Awareness Month


Cancer is a concerning disease that stems from the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. It can develop in nearly any location within the body. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 26,000 new gastric cancer cases arise every year. Gastric cancer, or stomach cancer, results in approximately 1.5% of new cancer cases diagnosed among people in the United States. With November being Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, Adult Gastroenterology Associates wishes to advise the public on the symptoms of gastric cancer and how the condition can be managed.

In the event you or someone you love is diagnosed with stomach cancer, it's important to partner with a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist to ensure you have access to expert care. Get in touch with Adult Gastroenterology Associates in Tulsa, OK today to learn more.

What is gastric cancer?

The stomach is positioned in the top portion of the abdomen and is where food is held and broken down. If cancer forms within the internal lining of any portion of the stomach, it's diagnosed as cancer of the stomach. Cancer is a condition that can affect any portion of the stomach. Among patients in the United States, however, the disease is often found at the gastroesophageal junction, or the area where the esophagus transitions into the stomach. Though the rate of stomach cancer is on the decline among U.S. patients, it remains a major reason for cancer deaths across the globe.

What are the signs and symptoms of gastric cancer?

Cancer of the stomach can take more than a year or more to arise. Since gastric cancer isn't all that common in the United States, there are no major medical organizations that recommend regular testing for those at moderate risk. The early stages of gastric cancer commonly do not produce any symptoms, but patients who have signs or symptoms generally report the following:

  • Ongoing queasiness

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Poor appetite

  • Abdominal pain

  • Acid reflux

  • Unintentional weight loss

Should you or a loved one have any one of these signs or symptoms, it's important to seek professional help from a Tulsa, OK gastrointestinal doctor as soon as possible. Reach out to Adult Gastroenterology Associates to meet with a gastroenterologist.

What are stomach cancer risk factors?

Some people are at a greater risk of getting cancer of the stomach. At times, these risk factors include hereditary conditions, like Lynch syndrome. This particular health issue also heightens the likelihood of uterine cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colorectal cancer. Additional factors that may place you at greater risk for gastric cancer are as follows:

  • Being over 55

  • Being male

  • Smoking

  • A family history of stomach cancer

  • History of stomach surgery

  • Occupational exposure

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Obesity

Talk to a GI doctor in Tulsa, OK to learn about undergoing routine stomach cancer screenings, like an upper endoscopy, if you have an elevated risk for stomach cancer. You can set up an upper endoscopy and consult a gastrointestinal specialist by reaching out to Adult Gastroenterology Associates.

Surgical treatments for gastric cancer

Stomach cancer is commonly treated via surgical intervention. Once the cancerous mass has been excised (removed), chemotherapy and radiation might be recommended to lessen the chance of cancer recurrence. In general, there are three main surgical procedures for removing cancerous tissue in the stomach:

  • Total gastrectomy: During a total gastrectomy, the whole stomach and neighboring lymph nodes are taken out, and a new stomach is recreated by the small bowel.

  • Partial (or subtotal) gastrectomy: With this surgical approach, a portion of the stomach is removed, and the surrounding sections are reconnected. This type of gastrectomy might additionally include the removal of surrounding lymph nodes or other tissue as well.

  • Endoscopic mucosal resection: With this procedure, an endoscope is used to remove malignant tissue in the stomach.

Gastric cancer care in Tulsa, OK

This November, we urge you to learn more about your risks for stomach cancer. If you or a family member notices signs or symptoms of gastric cancer, please know that specialized help is available. Adult Gastroenterology Associates is a physician-led organization of gastroenterologists and a dependable practice in the world of GI health. Get in touch with our office in Tulsa, OK to learn more about how a GI specialist can help meet your needs.