Stomach cancer treatment
Stomach cancers have become more treatable because of improvements in staging the disease, achievements in treatment methods. The treatment approach of this disease depends on the patient’s stage, general health and preferences. Stomach cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.
Surgery, also known as gastrectomy, is obviously the most common treatment approach, and it is a good option when the illness is at an early stage. Usually, the doctor will consider cut out a portion of the stomach which is cancerous. In other cases, the whole stomach and some nearby lymph nodes are removed.
After a partial gastrectomy, the doctor will connect the part left of your stomach to the esophagus or the small intestine. Meanwhile, after a total surgery, the doctor has to connect the esophagus directly to your small intestine.
You must be fit enough to have your stomach surgically removed. Besides, this treatment approach is linked to bleeding and infection risk. Digestive problem is another possible effect of gastrectomy on your health.
- Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy refers to the treatment using high-energy beams of radiation in order to kill cancer cells or prevent them from multiplying. The doctor may use high-powered beams of energy before a surgery with a view to shrink a stomach tumor to make the process of removing it more easily. Also, radiation therapy can be used to destroy the remaining cells after a surgery.
Radiation therapy to your stomach is acknowledged to be the cause of health issues such as diarrhea, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.
Chemotherapy is a method of treatment in which anti-cancer medicines are used to kill cancer cells or stop them from multiplying. Similar to radiation therapy, chemotherapy can be used before or after a surgery.
- Targeted therapy
Targeted therapy is defined as a way of treatment which targets at the factors causing cancer to stop the growth and spread of cancer cells while trying to reduce damage to healthy cells. Drugs used to attack stomach cancer cells include:
– Trastuzumab (Herceptin: is usually used for stomach cancer cells producing too much HER2.
– Imatinib (Gleevec): can be used for an uncommon form of stomach cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
– Sunitinib (Sutent): is used for gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
Stomach cancer prevention
- Treating H pylori infection
According to some studies, the chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria may increase the risk of stomach cancer, and the treatment of this disease can lower the risk of getting involved in the cancer of stomach, accordingly. H pylori infection can be treated with antibiotics.
- Live a healthy lifestyle
– Avoid smoked and pickled foods as well as salted meats and fish, increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
– Do physical exercises every day. If you can’t manage to go to a Gym, spend at least 30 minutes walking daily.
– Maintain a healthy weight.
– Stop or reduce the use of tobacco products.
- Early detection
If your stomach cancer is detected early, the chance it can be treated successfully is higher. That’s why you should have your health checked periodically.