Signs of Stomach Cancer
Signs of stomach cancer can be difficult to detect? The signs and symptoms are somewhat vague and can be confused with many other benign gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.
- General feeling of discomfort
- Poor appetite
- Abdominal (belly) pain
- Vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the naval
- A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating a small meal
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Vomiting with or without blood
- Swelling or fluid build up in the abdomen
- Blood in the stool
- Low red blood count (anemia)
We all have had these some of these symptoms at one time or another, which makes it difficult to know when to seek medical attention. When stomach cancer is finally diagnosed, it’s often in the advanced stages. Of course, many of these symptoms can be caused from something else other than cancer. They also occur with other types of cancer. If you have any of these problems and they are reoccurring or they get worse, you need to seek advise from one of our board-certified doctors at Digestive Care Physicians.
Since symptoms of stomach cancer often do not appear until the disease is advanced, only about 1 in 5 stomach cancers in the United States is found at an early stage, before it has spread to other areas of the body. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Get tested.
Some risk factors are unavoidable as in gender and ethnicity. Men are more likely than women to get stomach cancer. People over 50 are at greater risk. Hispanic Americans, African American, Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders are at higher risk than non-Hispanic whites.
While most of these risk factors are not in your control, there are factors that you can alter or quit doing:
- Diet – People who consume salty foods, salted fish, and pickled vegetables. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables appears to lower the risk of stomach cancer.
- Smoking – Smoking increases stomach cancer risk, particularly for cancers of the upper portion of the stomach near the esophagus. The rate of stomach cancer is about doubled in smokers.
- Being overweight – Being overweight or obese is a possible cause of cancers of the cardia (the upper part of the stomach nearest the esophagus), but the strength of this link is not yet clear.
Much of the information here was obtained by the American Cancer Society and the doctors at Digestive Care Physicians.
Digestive Care Physicians, Ranvir Singh, M.D., Stephen Rashbaum, M.D., Long B. Nguyen, D.O. Nitin J. Parkh, M.D., and Ruth Montalva, M.D. are all experienced in diagnosing and treating all types of gastrointestinal cancers. They have 4 locations north of Atlanta: Alpharetta, Cumming, Lawrenceville, and Johns Creek. 770-227-2222