Cancer is currently the second leading cause of deaths in the United States, being only slightly behind heart disease. The term cancer actually represents a wide group of medical conditions able to affect different types of human tissue, with one common denominator being mutation and rapid growth of harmful cells across the patient’s body. Some types of cancer can have their prevalence rates increased by certain external factors, such as certain chemical vapors and cigarette smoking causing lung cancer, and prolonged exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation in the summer months being a direct cause of certain types of skin cancer. However, there are also other types of cancer for which the medical community has not been able to fully determine the cause. One of such types of cancer is stomach cancer.
Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer as it is also called, refers to a group of cancers that begin in the patient’s stomach. The most common type of stomach cancer is referred to as an adenocarcinoma, which affects the individual’s digestive track. Furthermore, this type of cancer appears to be more common among males, especially ones over the age of 40. The individual’s family history, with their relatives being diagnosed with stomach or other types of cancers, does appear to influence the probability of the person developing this type of cancer as well. Furthermore, certain types of untreated gastrointestinal diseases and conditions such as stomach polyps, or chronic gastritis appear to increase the prevalence rates of stomach cancers. Also, certain type of lifestyle does appear to increase the individual’s risk as is the case for many other types of cancer. Smoking of tobacco products and stressful environment, appear to be the most common lifestyle choices resulting in the increased rates of stomach cancers.
There are several different treatment options for patients diagnosed with stomach cancer, but surgery, often combined with other therapies appears to be the only treatment method able to fully cure the condition. If the cancerous tumor found in the stomach lining is small, surgery may be recommended immediately, which may remove all of the harmful tissue. In other cases the individual’s doctor may recommend treatment with chemotherapy as well as radiation in order to reduce any chances of such cancer spreading to other parts of the body. However, every patient must remember that surgery will eventually need to be performed as the other two options may only relieve some of the symptoms. If the tumor spreads from the stomach to other organs, the treatment becomes far more difficult, and often the stomach cancer may prove to be completely incurable at such stage.