Stomach Cancer Treatment
The main treatments for stomach cancer are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Often, the best approach to treatment would be to use two or more methods. The main goal of treatment is to completely get rid of the disease. In the case where it is impossible to complete cure, therapy aimed at alleviating symptoms such as eating disorders, pain or bleeding. Before treatment it is important to clarify the purpose of the proposed therapy.
Surgical treatment of gastric cancer
Depending on the type of stomach cancer and stage of disease can be made with tumor removal operation, together with a portion of the stomach. If possible, the surgeon leaves the unaffected part of the stomach.
Currently, surgery is the onlyway to cure stomach cancer. In the presence of 0, I, II or III gastric cancer, as well as a relatively satisfactory state, attempt to completely remove the tumor.
Even if the cancer has spread at the time of treatment andcan not be completely removed, surgery may help to prevent bleeding from a tumor or facilitate the passage of food through the intestines. This type of surgery is called palliative, ie, performed in order to alleviate or prevent the symptoms and not for the purpose of curing cancer.
Chemotherapy in the treatment of gastric cancer
Under chemotherapy refers to the use ofanticancer drugs to kill tumor cells. Typically, drugs are given intravenously or by mouth, ie, through the mouth. As soon as the drug enters the bloodstream, it spreads throughout the body. Chemotherapy is usually used to influence the spread of the tumor.
Chemotherapy may be the main treatmentgastric cancer, when the tumor has spread to distant organs. This method of therapy is used before or after surgery. Experience has shown that chemotherapy can alleviate some symptoms in patients with stomach cancer, especially in cases where cancer has spread to other areas of the body. There are indications that chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy can delay the recurrence (return) of the disease and prolong the life of patients with advanced process.
Chemotherapy drugs are not onlydestroy tumor cells, but also can damage normal cells, leading to side effects. These side effects depend on the type of drugs, their dosage and duration of treatment.
following treatment of complications can occur during chemotherapy:
- Increased fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loose stools
- Loss of appetite
- Alopecia (hair grow back after treatment)
- Mouth ulcers
- Increased risk of infections in connection with a reduction in the number of leukocytes (white blood cells)
- The appearance of bruising or bleeding.
Most of these side effects areafter the end of treatment. When such events to inform the doctor or nurse, as there are ways to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy in the treatment of gastric cancer
This method uses high-energy raysto destroy or reduce the tumor. Irradiation may be external or using radioactive materials administered directly into the tumor tissue (internal or implantation irradiation). In gastric cancer is usually applied external irradiation.
After surgery, radiation therapy may be usedfor the destruction of small foci of tumor that can not be seen or removed during surgery. It is believed that radiation therapy, especially in combination with chemotherapy can delay or prevent recurrence (return) of the cancer after surgery and can prolong life for patients. Radiation therapy may be used to relieve symptoms such as pain, bleeding and difficulty passing food.
Radiation therapy of gastric cancer - a complicated procedure, so it needs to be carried out in the offices with extensive experience in the treatment of such patients.
Of the side effects of radiation therapy needednote minor skin reactions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. These symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks after cessation of treatment. Exposure may aggravate side effects of chemotherapy. When such events report them to a doctor who knows how to help you.
The survival of patients with gastric cancer, depending on the stage of the disease
5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patientslived, at least 5 years after the detection of cancer. Of course, patients can live considerably longer after diagnosis. Overall survival of patients with gastric cancer ranges from 20%. One of the most important reasons for this low survival is to detect cancer in advanced stage. The survival rate is worse at the location of the tumor in the upper part of the stomach and is best when it is localized in the lower divisions. Patients receiving treatment at the present time, can have a more favorable outcome.
While these figures reflect the generalnow, we must remember that the situation in each case and a special statistics can not predict exactly what will happen to each patient. Ask your doctor about your chances of recovery and the possibility of long-term survival. Doctors are better than others know about your situation.