Gastric Cancer Treatments

Gastric cancer is characterized as cancer that forms within the cells of the stomach lining.

To date, the National Institutes of Health claim that gastric cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer on a global basis. Gastric cancer spread, or metastasis, in one of 3 ways—either via the bloodstream and blood vessels, lymphatic system, or through bodily tissues to other nearby organs and tissues. GTelltale symptoms of gastric cancer in the early stages may present as stomach pain, chronic indigestion or bloat, vomiting or nausea, lack of appetite, difficulty swallowing, and even jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes. 

In order to treat gastric cancer, a combination of treatments are typically recommended, including:

1. Chemo and radiation

Chemotherapy and radiation are often first line recommended treatments used to impede cancer cell growth. Chemo is a cancer drug therapy that’s administered to patients orally or intravenously. Whereas, radiation employs intense x-ray radiation to destroy cancer cells. It’s administered either internally (via needle and catheter) or externally (using intense x-ray beams directe at a cancerous area of the body). 

2. Targeted cancer therapy

Targeted cancer therapy treats cancer by targeting cancer with exterior substances (i.e., multikinase inhibitor that or monoclonal antibodies) to first pinpoint, and then seek and destroy cancerous cells. 

3. Surgery

Several surgical procedures as also often recommended to treat gastric cancer in the later stages. Surgical procedures may include the following:

  • Endoscopic mucosal resection removes early stage gastric cancer using an endoscope to scrape cancer cells from the digestive tract lining.
  • Gastrojejunostomy, which surgically removes cancer impeding the small intestine so sustenance and cancer medications can travel from stomach to small intestine.
  • An endoluminal stent placement is a surgery that opens passage from stomach to small intestine to allow for normal feeding vis insertion of a stent.
  • A subtotal gastrectomy involves surgery that removes a portion of the stomach deemed cancerous. 
  • Total gastrectomy is the surgical removal of the entire stomach, portions  of the esophagus, nearby lymph, spleen, and small intestine.