A single cell bacterium can develop cancer
Stomach cancer (gastric cancer, adenocarcinoma)
Depending on how far and in which organs the cancer has spread, the therapy is tailored to the individual progress of the disease.
The removal of the tumor is the therapy of first choice if the tumor is limited to the stomach or the lymph nodes. However, this is only possible in around two thirds of those affected. One-third will need chemotherapy before surgery.
If the gastric mucosa is only superficially affected by cancer cells, endoscopic removal may be sufficient.
Chemotherapy before surgery aims to shrink the tumor.
Common medications are (alphabetically):
If the tumor has shrunk after chemotherapy, the carcinoma can be removed with an operation. After the operation, examinations should be carried out to show whether metastases are present, followed by postoperative chemotherapy.
If the carcinoma can no longer be surgically removed, radiation therapy is used. This destroys or shrinks the tumor tissue. This treatment is mostly used in combination with chemotherapy for advanced cancers.
A number of modern drugs can be used even in advanced disease and metastases. Above all, antibodies are available here. These drugs prevent cancer cells from growing or dividing. The antibody trastuzumab is currently available for gastric cancer. This prevents "HER2" (human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2) from being activated and accelerating cell division. With the help of this antibody you can restrict cancer growth. The drug is mostly used in people with advanced cancer that has metastasized. In combination with chemotherapy, it has been shown that sick people cannot be cured, but quality of life can be improved and survival time can be increased.
After the operation
Sometimes it is necessary to remove part or all of the stomach when a large part of the stomach is infected. In order to be able to continue to eat, a stomach replacement is surgically made, usually from a loop of intestine that is connected to the esophagus. A reservoir is produced from the intestinal tissue or piece, which now takes over the function of the stomach as a food store.
After gastric cancer surgery, you should carefully follow the check-ups prescribed by your doctor. How often these are prescribed depends on the individual case of illness.
A common side effect of the disease is anemia, typical of which are tiredness, lack of energy, lack of drive, shortness of breath and pale to yellowish skin coloration. This is due to a lack of iron, because those affected usually lose a lot of blood during the operation. Usually the body is able to make up for the loss. However, iron supplements prescribed by a doctor and special diets can be helpful in the case of iron deficiency.
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