A neoplasm occurs when the cells of a particular part of the body undergo uncontrolled division and replication leading to failure of organ function. A gastric neoplasm occurs in the stomach most commonly in the gastroesophageal junction and is usually an adenocarcinoma. Gastroesophageal cancers usually occur due to long term Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Some are at more risk of this condition than others, for example those who, have a family history, consume high amounts of processed, salty and fatty food, smoke, have helicobacter pylori infection, have long term inflammation of stomach or have pernicious anaemia. However, the main risk factor for it is obesity. Obese people are more likely to suffer with this disease if they don’t make lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, consuming a healthy balanced diet, reducing stress and quitting smoking.

Signs and symptoms of the disease are many. You may tend to feel tired, feel bloated and full after eating a small quantity of food, have severe, persistent heartburn, indigestion, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, unexplained weight loss and abdominal pain. If you have any of these symptoms you must see a surgeon and be investigated as required. First the surgeon will talk to you and get all necessary details about your symptoms, signs and medical history and then examine you. If he believes you need further investigation he may go for an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy any suspicious lesions which will confirm diagnosis of an adenocarcinoma. He may also do CT scan and blood investigations as appropriate.

If a cancer is detected the treatment is always surgical. Stomach cancer treatment Singapore will include surgical treatment of the tumour by removal of the lesion with some healthy mucosa if they are small, or a subtotal or total gastrectomy if more advanced including the excision of the affected lymph nodes. Following surgery, you may need more treatment with radiation and chemotherapy to get rid of all cancer cells and prevent a recurrence. Sometimes surgery is performed to ease the signs and symptoms even if it cannot cure when it’s too advanced. This will improve quality of life. It is a major surgery and carries considerable risk of infection and bleeding but it is lifesaving so is essential in most cases.

Stomach cancer can be a debilitating disease and you will need all the support you can get to overcome it. Timely diagnosis, proper treatment and follow up can give you a better prognosis. So be vigilant of your body and take all measures possible to avoid the condition.


 

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