Diagnosing and Treating Stomach Cancer in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, starts in the lining of the stomach and can spread to nearby organs or to other parts of the body. This type of cancer is relatively uncommon in the United States, accounting for 1.5% of all cancer diagnoses but also 1.8% of all cancer deaths. Stomach cancer is slow-growing and symptoms may not develop at first, but the disease often is discovered in its later stages, when more serious symptoms appear.
Because the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of stomach cancer are crucial, the experts at Regional Cancer Care Associates are ready to provide the highest quality of cancer care available for patients in Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Understanding the symptoms of stomach cancer is the first step in detecting and properly diagnosing the disease. In most cases, the common symptoms of stomach cancer are caused by another condition, such as an ulcer, virus, or bacterial infection. Consult your doctor, however, if you have symptoms that get worse or persist, such as:
- Poor appetite
- A feeling of fullness, especially after minimal food intake
- Unintentional or unexplained weight loss
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Nausea or vomiting
- Belly pain, swelling, or fluid buildup
Causes and Risk Factors
It’s difficult to say what exactly causes stomach cancer, but correlations between certain factors and contracting the disease have been reported. For example, stomach cancer is more common in people older than age 50, with most people receiving a diagnosis between ages 60 and 90. Men are also more likely than women to get it, and the disease is more prevalent in Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders than in Caucasians.
Other risk factors include:
- Previous infection with a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori
- A diet high in smoked foods, salted or cured fish and meats, and certain preservatives
Progression and Treatment of Stomach Cancer
As with other cancers, stomach cancer can eventually spread to other parts of the body. The disease’s progression is described in the following stages, which help doctors determine how to treat it:
- Stage 0: The cancer is in the stomach’s innermost lining.
- Stage 1: The cancer has grown into deeper layers of the stomach and possibly also into the main muscle layer of the stomach wall.
- Stage 2: The cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or has grown completely through the stomach’s muscle layer, but has not spread to other parts of the body.
- Stage 3: The cancer has grown through the stomach wall or has spread to nearby organs or structures, but it has not spread to distant parts of the body.
- Stage 4: The cancer has spread to distant organs, such as the lungs, liver, or brain.
Regional Cancer Care Associates has a knowledgeable and caring staff with the resources to provide the right diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. Treatment of stomach cancer may include surgery, use of chemotherapy drugs, targeted therapy, radiosurgery, and more.
Choose Regional Cancer Care Associates for Stomach Cancer Care
If you suspect you may have symptoms of stomach cancer or have recently been diagnosed, don’t hesitate to reach out to Regional Cancer Care Associates. We have 31 locations throughout Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey, enabling you to receive the world-class, patient-centered cancer care you need, close to home. Contact us today to get started navigating your cancer treatment journey or to learn more about the care and services we provide.