Stomach cancer

author/s: Dr Mª Carmen Peña Cala


What is cancer?

Cancer is the presence of a malignant tumour.

 

What are its main characteristics?

Its main characteristics are:

    • Fatal outcome if not treated adequately.

    • Infiltration of adjacent tissues.

    • After it has been eliminated, it can reappear in the same place or close by.

    • Rapid growth with atypical mitosis (abnormal cell divisions).

    • Inability to reproduce the structure of the tissue on which it is housed.

    • Production of metastasis in lymph nodes or in distant organs.


What do we know about stomach cancer?

Gastric or stomach cancer is one of the most frequent types of cancer in the world. The symptoms in early stages, a time when the cancer is more likely to be cured, are minimal or nul, and thus medical attention is sought when it is too late. There are no known causes, although it is believed that diet is to blame and that there might be a slight genetic component.

 

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis and collection of biopsy sample for histological typing is performed via fibrogastroscopy. The local study can be completed by means of an echoendoscopy.

The physical and endoscopic exploration is completed with a chest x-ray, liver panel tests, abdominal ultrasound and computerised axial tomobraphy (CAT).

 

Can it be cured?

At present, surgical removal of the tumour is the only way to combat the illness. A detailed and through search of signs for metastasis at a distance will prevent unnecessary surgery.