Stomach & Oesophageal Cancer

 

Stomach Illustration

Stomach Cancer

Your stomach is a muscular bag in your abdomen (tummy) that digests the food you eat. The lining of your stomach produces a strong acid to help break down food and protect you from harmful bacteria.

It's important to recognize stomach cancer symptoms to get the treatment needed. Stomach cancer symptoms tend to go ignored often, because others figure they're suffering from other stomach problems. There are a few different causes of stomach cancer. The most common type of stomach cancer is known as adenocarcinoma.

Stomach cancer can be genetic. If you have family members who have a history of stomach cancer, then you might be at risk. Since signs of stomach cancer usually aren't noticeable until it's advanced, you should get regular checkups from your doctor. Especially if you're past the age of 40. Those past the the age of 40 are more prone to stomach cancer. Those who are at risk of stomach cancer are heavy smokers, heavy drinkers, too much sodium in one's diet, lack of antioxidants in diet, and pernicious anemia. Stomach cancer treatment consists of surgery.

Instructions :

1 Identify possible stomach cancer symptoms. Symptoms of stomach cancer results in loose stool, constant bloating, heartburn, stomach pain, abdominal pain, dark stool, blood in stool, diarrhea and indigestion. Stomach cancer symptoms can be common symptoms of other stomach problems. However, if symptoms continue you should get an appointment with your doctor. It might not be stomach cancer. You might still need treatment if its some other kind of stomach problem.

2 Eat foods high in fiber. Fiber takes harmful toxins out of your body . Dietary fiber is good for your digestive system. Eating good amounts of fiber can help prevent stomach cancer. Foods high in fiber are wheat, corn, raspberries, mustard greens, cauliflower, broccoli, bran, legumes, barley, rye and oats. Eating white bread can increase your chance of cancer. Switch to wheat or rye bread instead.

3 Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables contains high amount of antioxidants. Those who don't get enough antioxidants into their diet increase risk of cancer. Specific fruits high in vitamin C should be added to your diet. Strawberries, oranges, lemon, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, grapefruit, watermelon, pineapple, and blueberries. Eat a lot of green leaf vegetables like spinach, broccoli, kale, and swiss chard

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4 Take vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E can help fight off free radical attacks. Vitamin E is a healthy vitamin for digestion, and is anti-cancer. Taking vitamin E regularly can reduce your chance of cancer. Talk to your doctor about vitamin E supplements if you're on prescribed medications.

5 Avoid a lot of alcohol, smoking, and limit saturated fats. Drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking, and eating foods high in saturated fats can lead to stomach cancer, and other forms of cancer. Drink more green tea, since it helps boost the immune system. Replace saturated and trans fats with omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats.

After Treatment:

After treatment for stomach cancer ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your recovery for the coming months and years.

People who have had their entire stomach removed can feed themselves, but it is important for them to re-learn how to eat and take food in after this major surgery. Talk with your doctor about this type of rehabilitation.

 

 

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Oesophageal Illustration

Oesophageal Cancer

The oesophagus is the tube that transports food from the throat to the stomach. Oesophageal cancer is the growth of cancer cells in the oesophagus.

There are two main types of oesophageal cancer:

 

Squamous cell cancer—arises from the cells that line the upper part of the oesophagus.

Adenocarcinoma—arises from glandular cells that are present at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach.

Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide out of control. If cells keep dividing, a mass of tissue forms. These are called growths or tumors. If the tumor is malignant, it is cancer. They can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Oesophageal Cancer

The cause of oesophageal cancer is unknown.

The symptoms of cancer of the oesophagus (food pipe) include :

•Difficulty in swallowing

•Weight loss

•Pain or discomfort in the throat or back

•Acid indigestion

•Hoarseness, or a cough that won't go away

•Vomiting

•Coughing up blood

Remember, conditions other than oesophageal cancer can cause these symptoms but it is important that you report them to your doctor

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Risk Factors:

Factors that may increase your chance of oesophageal cancer include:

•Age: 60 or older

•Sex: male

•Smoking or smokeless tobacco use (such as chewing tobacco or snuff)

•Alcohol use

•History of gastroesophageal reflux , especially if this has caused Barrett's esophagus

•Achalasia (chronic dilation of the esophagus)

•Infection with Helicobacter pylori (causes stomach ulcers )

•Certain rare genetic conditions such as Plummer Vinson syndrome and tylosis

•Damaged esophagus from toxic substances, such as lye

•History of cancer of the head and/or neck

•Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection

•Alendronate (Fosamax) (rare)

After Treatment :

After treatment for esophageal cancer ends, talk with your doctor about developing a follow-up care plan. This plan may include regular physical examinations and/or medical tests to monitor your recovery for the coming months and years. ASCO offers cancer treatment summary forms to help keep track of the cancer treatment you received and develop a survivorship care plan once treatment is completed.

If the cancer is in remission, follow-up care may include CT scans and upper endoscopies (see Diagnosis) to watch for a possible recurrence.

People who have had an esophagectomy should sleep with the head of the bed elevated to avoid acid reflux, as the stomach has been surgically moved up into the chest.

 

 

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