According to statistics, oncology of the stomach and other organs of the digestive tract is one of the most common pathologies. Under the influence of a number of factors, stomach cancer can develop, the symptoms and manifestation of which, unfortunately, are almost impossible to detect at the initial stage.
Stomach cancer: symptoms and signs
As medical practice shows, malignant tumors in the stomach are more common in representatives of the strong half of humanity in the age group of 50-59 years. Pathology begins to develop in the epithelial layers of the mucous covering of the stomach. If you do not diagnose the disease in time and do not start treatment, then oncology can rapidly develop, spreading metastases to neighboring organs. Most commonly, the liver, lungs and esophagus are affected.
The appearance of a malignant neoplasm in the stomach can cause the following reasons:
- Wrong diet: the constant consumption of sharp, fried, salty foods that destroy the mucous covering of the stomach, which can lead to its degeneration and the development of a tumor.
- Alcohol abuse and excessive smoking.
- Chronic gastric pathologies, in particular, ulcers, gastritis of atrophic and erosive nature. To determine the development of gastric cancer can bacteria of the genus Helicobacter, which destroy its mucous coating.
- Oncology can appear in old age, when the secretory function and mucous covering of the stomach atrophy due to aging and age-related changes.
- Heredity. Often, cancer is inherited. Genetic predisposition plays a role in 50% of cases.
- Obesity and hormonal activity. Such pathological conditions of the body can be a precursor of the development of gastric oncology.
In the initial stages of the development of a malignant tumor, people practically do not experience any symptoms. With the manifestation of primary symptoms, they turn to a medical institution with suspicion of developing other ailments. And only in the course of a full-scale diagnosis, the attending specialist will be able to make a reliable diagnosis.
Signs of a stomach tumor: first symptoms
Repeatedly in practice there were cases when it was not possible to diagnose the development of a malignant tumor in the stomach at the initial stage of progression. This is primarily due to the fact that the first signs of gastric cancer at an early stage do not have a specific character. An important role is played here by the factor that many of us, when discomfort appears in the area of the digestive tract, begin to self-medicate, with the result that the pathology progresses and rapidly reaches the final stages of development.
The primary signs of gastric oncology include:
- discomfort and pain in the chest;
- feeling of distention inside the abdomen;
- violation of the digestive process, in particular, the appearance of heartburn, belching, bloating and sensations of heaviness, especially after eating;
- the presence of increased flatulence;
- short bouts of nausea after eating;
- violation of swallowing reflexes;
- the occurrence of gag reflexes, especially with blood impurities;
- the presence of blood clots in the defecation products (this symptom may indicate the development of bleeding in the stomach);
- paroxysmal pain, giving to the heart.
Common symptoms may be added to the primary signs of the development of a malignant tumor in the stomach, in particular:
- excessive fatigue;
- dramatic weight loss.
If a person has not paid due attention to the primary symptoms, then in the future specific signs of the development of oncology of the stomach will appear. These include:
- the appearance of pain syndromes in the abdomen, having a different character (pulling, sharp, dull, aching);
- persistent nausea and gag reflex, aggravated after meals;
- isolation of stagnant vomitus;
- loose stools or vomiting that have a black, saturated color that resembles coffee grounds;
- fast food saturation, heaviness in the stomach;
- inability to swallow food.
If, after the appearance of such characteristic symptoms, the patient did not seek medical help, the malignant tumor will progress with the spread of metastases to neighboring internal organs. At the advanced stages of development of oncological pathology, the symptoms that are obvious for stomach cancer are manifested:
- an increase in the abdomen;
- tumor palpable type;
- an increase in the size of the lymph nodes;
- yellowing of the skin;
If a person suffered from chronic gastritis or ulcerative pathology, then some symptoms may be familiar to him. At change of intensity or character of the shown symptomatology it is necessary to address immediately to the attending specialist. A number of signs may indicate the development of internal bleeding, as well as damage to neighboring organs.
How to diagnose a disease?
People with a history of any digestive pathology, as well as those who have a genetic predisposition to the appearance of a malignant neoplasm in the stomach, should undergo a gastroscopy procedure annually. Today, the most reliable way to diagnose gastric cancer is video esophagogastroduodenoscopy (FGDS).
With the help of such research at the initial stage, it is possible to detect any modifications in the epithelial lining of the stomach, esophagus, duodenum. When pathological cells are detected by means of the same apparatus and under the action of a short-term intravenous anesthesia, they are removed.
With the appearance of primary symptoms, the patient can undergo the procedure of roentgenoscopy. This method of research is considered a classic and safe. With it, you can identify any violations in the functioning of the digestive organs.
The patient may be prescribed an ultrasound. During such a manipulation, the attending specialist will be able to detect the presence of fluid in the peritoneum, the development of metastatic processes, the growth of the neoplasm, the damage of neighboring organs, including the liver and lymph nodes. Along with ultrasound, a doctor can perform a CT scan to confirm or deny information obtained from ultrasound diagnostics.
Ultrasound can be done in several ways. One of the informative and reliable research is considered to be an ultrasound of the endoscopic type. During such a diagnosis, the doctor will be able to detect any changes occurring in the thickness of the gastric walls. This diagnosis is primary and necessary if there is a suspicion of the development of malignant processes in the depth of the mucous membrane.
If there is any doubt or suspicion of metastasis, the treating specialist prescribes laparoscopy. Such manipulation refers to surgical procedures and is performed under general anesthesia. Through the walls of the peritoneum, a special sensor is inserted inside, equipped with a camera, through which all the internal organs of the digestive tract, as well as the liver, are examined. During laparoscopy, comparative epithelial samples are taken for biopsy examination. Also, in case of suspicion of the development of a malignant neoplasm, the patient must undergo a blood test for tumor markers.
To protect yourself from the development of such a terrible and deadly malady, you should eat right and balanced, lead a healthy lifestyle, combine work and rest, spend more time outdoors. With the appearance of primary symptoms, you should definitely consult a gastroenterologist. Be healthy!