Can stomach cancer be cured?
Stomach cancer can potentially be cured with aggressive treatment, especially if diagnosed early.
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Cancer of the stomach results from damage to the cells in the stomach, causing them to replicate out of control. Cancer cells can also break off and spread to lymph nodes or other organs.
Symptoms of stomach cancer include indigestion, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, difficulty or pain when swallowing, and blood in the vomit or faeces.
The exact causes of the cell damage that results in stomach cancer are unknown.
Stomach cancer is ultimately diagnosed with a tissue biopsy examined by a pathologist. Other diagnostic tests include scans or procedures to discover the size and location of the cancer.
Stomach cancer is treated by a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Cancer cannot be prevented, but you can reduce your risk by not smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and by taking a prescribed course of antibiotics to treat stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori.
The type of stomach cancer depends on the type of cell it begins in. Adenocarcinoma of the stomach starts in the glandular cells of the stomach, whereas squamous cell carcinoma of the stomach starts in the squamous cells of the stomach lining.
Stomach cancer can affect anyone, but it tends to more commonly affect men over 50. You are at increased risk if you smoke, are infected with the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, or have a family history of disease.