Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a cancer which develops from the lining of the stomach. The cancer may spread from the stomach to other parts of the body, particularly the liver, lungs, bones, lining of the abdomen and lymph nodes. The early symptoms of gastric cancer are not noticeable. So How to diagnose whether you get stomach or not? What are are the main symptoms of stomach cancer? Keep reading to find out.
Main Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
As most symptoms of gastric cancer are likely to be confused by some other less serious conditions such as a stomach virus or an ulcer, stomach cancer is difficult to detect at the early stage. Therefore, many people with gastric cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is already advanced. The signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include the following:
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent heartburn or indigestion
- Blood in stool
- Nausea and vomiting(sometimes with blood)
- Bloating or fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Excessive fatigue
- Weight loss
- Feeling full after eating only a small amount
- Low red blood cell count
- Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer
A physical exam will be performed at first to check for any abnormalities. A blood test will also be ordered including a test for the presence of H. pylori bacteria. If the symptoms of stomach cancer have been appeared, more diagnostic tests will need to be done. These tests are as follow:
It is the most common test to diagnose stomach cancer. Doctors will use this method to see the inside of the body with a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a gastroscope or endoscope. The patient may be sedated as the tube is inserted through the mouth down the esophagus and into the stomach. A sample of tissue can also be removed as a biopsy during an endoscopy.
It is the method to remove a tissue sample from any suspicious-looking part of the stomach. This tissue will be then examined under a microscope in a lab. Other tests can suggest that gastric cancer is present, but only a biopsy can make a definite diagnosis.
It is similar to an endoscopy, but the gastroscope has a small ultrasound probe on the end. An ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the internal organs. An ultrasound image of the stomach wall helps doctors determine how far the cancer has spread into the stomach and nearby lymph nodes, tissue, and organs.
They are used to create pictures of the inside of the body. These tests include computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Positron emission tomography (PET) or PET-CT scan. Each test has a specific medical use, so the doctor will determine which test to perform according to the signs of the stomach cancer.