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Stomach cancer - or gastric cancer - afflicts about 21,000 people a year, and causes about 10,500 deaths annually. The disease mainly afflicts older people, with about two-thirds of all cases occurring in people who are older than 65.
 

Stomach Cancer Overview

WellStar Health System provides superior care for stomach cancer, offering a comprehensive spectrum of top-notch physicians, treatment options and diagnostic tools. In addition WellStar offers such innovative advances in the fight against stomach cancer, including:


  • Advanced medical oncologists with special interest in stomach cancer and who practice state-of-the-art care in a collegial atmosphere.
  • Expert surgical teams offering experience in complex stomach surgery with extended lymph node dissection.
  • The entire spectrum of diagnostic and interventional treatments – including endoscopic ultrasounds, endoscopies and endoscopic resection of stomach tissue.
  • Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a treatment that allows for the radiation to be tailored to the size and placement of the tumor, while sparing healthy tissue.
  • A GI Tumor Board, which meets weekly to present patient cases and craft a personalized treatment plan. The conference is attended by medical oncology, radiation oncology, radiology, pathology, and a team of surgeons including specially trained liver and pancreas surgeons, colorectal surgeons and general surgeons specializing in minimally invasive surgery.
  • Clinical trials - making novel therapies available to patients.

Symptoms

While some of these symptoms can also be signs of something far less serious, it is important to see your WellStar physician if any of these symptoms persist for more than two weeks. Symptoms of gastric cancer include:


  • Weight loss
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • A feeling of fullness just below the chest bone after eating even a small meal
  • A loss of appetite
  • Dark stools
  • Nausea and vomiting

Risk Factors

  • Smoking
  • Eating a diet high in smoked fish or meat for certain populations
  • Obesity
  • Having a close relative with gastric cancer at a young age