Symptoms of Stomach Cancer: How to Recognize Them in Time

Stomach cancer is a highly dangerous condition that, if not correctly identified, can be fatal. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of its symptoms, which could literally save our lives.

The stomach is an elongated sac-shaped organ in the digestive system, which is fundamental during the digestion process. It helps break down food with the help of enzymes and gastric juice before it moves on to the intestine for further processing.

How to recognize the symptoms of stomach cancer

However, it may happen that an uncontrolled growth of cells occurs, which leads to the development of a tumor mass in the mucosa of this organ.

Stomach cancer has become increasingly frequent in the population in recent years, particularly in the United States and Europe. Additionally, it seems to affect men more frequently than women.

What causes stomach cancer?

First of all, it’s important to differentiate between early-stage and advanced-stage stomach cancer, depending on how far it has progressed. Early-stage cancer, which often occurs in men aged 45-50 years, can be more easily eliminated. In this case, the chances of recovery are 90%. However, advanced-stage cancer is much harder to treat and remove.

In general, stomach cancer originates in the gastric mucosa, which is the lining of the stomach, and it can start either in the oesophagus or the duodenum. It can also spread directly from nearby organs like the oesophagus and peritoneum or through the lymphatic system, involving lymph nodes.

However, transmission can also occur through blood, i.e. through the blood circulation starting from metastases located in organs like the liver, ovaries, or lungs.

It is a multifactorial pathology, which means that it can be caused by multiple factors rather than a single one.  Certainly, one of the areas that can have the greatest influence is nutrition, as a high-fat diet and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing gastric cancer.

Smoking can also be a trigger, which can also lead to other types of tumors, in addition to stomach cancer. Additionally, conditions like diabetes mellitus, intestinal metaplasia, and peptic ulcers can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.

a man is smoking a cigarette

The advice given by doctors and researchers to reduce the chances of gastric cancer is by incorporating a daily intake of plenty of fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, and limiting the consumption of smoked foods.

What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?

Recognizing stomach cancer is not at all easy, especially in its early stages. The initial symptoms are often subtle and can be mistaken for signs of other health issues. Some of the most significant symptoms of stomach cancer include stomach pain, dyspepsia (indigestion), a feeling of fullness, nausea, and vomiting. In addition to these, other symptoms like blood in the stool or pain when swallowing can also be observed.

However, for a certain diagnosis of stomach cancer, a gastroscopy is often necessary. This procedure assesses the condition of the gastric mucosa and is able to detect any anomalies.

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