Stomach Cancer Treatment

Stomach Cancer Treatment

Stomach cancer treatment options are available to treat cancer of the stomach, also called gastric cancer. There are approximately 21,000 new cases of stomach cancer diagnosed each year. This form of cancer typically occurs in people older than 65 years old and for some reason is seen slightly more often in men.

Since the term, “stomach” is often used to describe what is really the “abdomen,” -- the part of the body that also houses other digestive tract organs, including the large and small intestine, liver and pancreas, it is important to be able to differentiate the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer from other cancers of the digestive tract as all have different treatment options and outcomes.

Stomach Cancer Treatment Options

Stomach cancer treatment options depend largely on the location, size and stage of the tumor and can include one or more of the following:

Surgery for Stomach Cancer Treatment
Two types of surgery can be performed, which are dependent on where in the stomach the tumor is located. If the cancer is located in the upper part of the stomach a total gastrectomy is usually performed. In this procedure, the entire stomach is removed and then the esophagus is connected directly to the small intestine. A partial or subtotal gastroectomy is performed when the tumor is located in the lower part of the stomach. In this surgery, the lower part of the stomach is removed and the remaining part is reattached to the small intestine.
Radiation Therapy Stomach Cancer Treatment
Using high energy rays to destroy cancer cells, radiation therapy given externally can be given after surgery to try to kill any remaining cancer cells. Radiation therapy is also often given in combination with chemotherapy to help prevent the recurrence of stomach cancer.
Chemotherapy Stomach Cancer Treatment
Typically more than one type of chemotherapy is given after surgery to help delay stomach cancer from returning. Studies are also ongoing to determine if giving chemotherapy prior to surgery, in order to shrink the tumor, also can help prevent the stomach cancer from recurring.

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