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What is Gastric Cancer?

At Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, we offer the latest and most effective diagnosis, treatments and therapies for gastric cancer in Orlando for residents of Central Florida and the surrounding regions. Gastric cancer, or adenocarcinoma of the stomach, is a cancer of the lining of the stomach.  While it is the world's fourth most prevalent cancer, gastric cancer is not common in the US. Early symptoms often mimic other less ominous conditions, so gastric cancers are often identified at later stages. Gastric cancers are aggressive and difficult to cure in later stages, so early detection is imperative. To learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

Risk Factors for Gastric Cancer

There are many risk factors associated with gastric cancer.  Male gender, African-American race, and low socioeconomic class are associated with increased risk for gastric cancer.  Diets high in salt and smoked foods also increase risk, as does smoking.  Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial that and live in the stomach and cause gastritis and ulcers, can also increase gastric cancer risk.  Prior stomach surgery, a condition called pernicious anemia, and chronic atrophic gastritis are also associated with elevated gastric cancer risk.  Finally, there are hereditary forms of gastric cancer due to genetic mutations passed along in families. To learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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Symptoms of Gastric Cancer

Early detection can be problematic, as early symptoms are either not easily noticed, or confused with common indigestion, heartburn and other benign conditions. If present, symptoms can include:

Abdominal pain
Dark stools
Difficulty swallowing, increasing over time
Excessive belching
General decline in health
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Premature fullness after eating
Unexpected weight loss
Feeling of abdominal fullness
Vomiting blood
Weakness, fatigue

To learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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Tests to Diagnose Gastric Cancer

Beyond physical exams and basic laboratory testing, there are additional studes that can help to confirm or rule out gastric cancer:

  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy (EGD) with biopsy
  • CT scan of the abdomen
  • Endoscopic ultrasound with biopsy (EUS/FNA)
  • Upper GI series (x-rays)
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Staging Gastric Cancer

Gastric cancer is staged based on three criteria: how deep the cancer invades into the wall of the stomach, how may lymph nodes are involved with cancer, and whether or not the cancer has spread to distant sites.  Current staging based on 2011 data is as follows:

Stage 0. Cancer is limited to the lining of the stomach and has not invaded into the stomach wall or spread to lymph nodes.
Stage IA. Cancer has invaded into the superficial layer of the stomach wall with no spread to lymph nodes.
Stage IB. Cancer has invaded into the muscular layer of the stomach wall with no spread to lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded into the superficial layer of the stomach wall with spread to 1-2 lymp nodes.
Stage IIA. Cancer has invaded up to the outer layer of the stomach wall with no lymph node spread OR cancer has invaded into the muscular layer of the stomach wall with spread to 1-2 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded the superficial layer of the stomach wall with spread to 3-6 lymph nodes.
Stage IIB. Cancer has invaded through the entire stomach wall with no spread to lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded up to the outer layer of the stomach wall with spread to 1-2 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded into the muscular layer of the stomach wall with spread to 3-6 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded into the superficial layer of the stomach with spread to 7 or more lymph nodes.
Stage IIIA. Cancer has invaded through the entire stomach wall with spread to 1-2 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded up to the outer layer of the stomach wall with spread to 3-6 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded into the muscular layer of the stomach wall with spread to 7 or more lymph nodes.
Stage IIIB. Cancer has invaded through the stomach wall and invaded directly into adjacent organs with spread to 0, 1, or 2 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded through the entire stomach wall with spread to 3-6 lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded up to the outer layer of the stomach wall with spread to 7 or more lymph nodes.
Stage IIIC. Cancer has invaded through the stomach wall and invaded directly into adjacent organs with spread to 3 or more lymph nodes OR cancer has invaded through the entire stomach wall with spread to 7 or more lymph nodes
Stage IV. Cancer has spread beyond the stomach and lymph nodes to other parts of the body.

To learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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Treatment for Gastric Cancer

Treatment for gastric cancer involves surgery, chemotherapy, and possibly radiation therapy.  Surgery is the cornerstone of treatment as the only possibility of cure is complete surgical removal of the cancer.  The surgical therapy of gastric cancer involves the removal of most or all of the stomach as well as removal of the majority of lymph nodes around the stomach.  The stomach is not necessary for eating and digestion; however, removal of most or all of the stomach markedly changes how a patient can eat for the rest of their lives.  Surgery for gastric cancer is curative only if all of the cancer can be removed.  If the cancer has spread beyond the stomach and lymph nodes, it is unlikely to be cured with surgery. 

Chemotherapy is used for gastric cancers that have invaded into the muscular layer of the stomach wall and/or have spread to lymph nodes.  Chemotherapy can be given before surgery, after surgery, or both, depending on the size and location of the tumor and the health of the patient.  Radiation therapy is generally given after surgery in selected cases. 

If the gastric cancer has already spread beyond the stomach and lymph nodes, surgery is usually not beneficial.  Chemotherapy and radiation therapies can help prolong life, but rarely produce a cure.  Occasionally surgery is needed to provide relief from symptoms, but does not aid in a cure.  Other techniques that serve to prolong life and lessen symptoms include local tumor removal and placement of intestinal stents (to keep the digestive passages clear).

To learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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Prognosis

The prognosis for gastric cancer depends on the stage of the cancer when treated.  The expected 5-year survivals based on stage are below:

Stage 0 - >95%
Stage IA - 71%
Stage IB - 57%
Stage IIA - 46%
Stage IIB - 33%
Stage IIIA - 20%
Stage IIIB - 14%
Stage IIIC - 9%
Stage IV - 4%

As is demonstrated, early stage gastric cancer can be effectively treated.  Early detection is key, as survival is poor with more advanced cancers.

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Request an Appointment

To learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Orlando, or to request an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Or fill out our online assistance form and one of our coordinators will get back to you within one business day.

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