Gastric Cancer Receives
of the funding given to breast cancer.
cases of gastric cancer diagnosed this year.
Half of those will lead to death.
Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with 783,000 deaths in 2018; only lung and colorectal cancer have a higher incidence of overall mortality.
The American Cancer Society estimates that just under 30,000 U.S. cases of gastric cancer will be diagnosed in 2020 and about half of those cases will lead to death.
A 2012 study in the scholarly journal BMC Public Health found that gastric cancer is also the most underfunded form of cancer compared to its mortality and years of life lost rates. For example, gastric cancer receives less than 10 percent of the funding given to breast cancer.
What is Gastric Cancer?
Gastric cancer is cancer of the stomach. Commonly, abnormal or malignant cancer cells develop in the wall of the stomach due to an error in the cells’ DNA that cause them to grow and spread. Gastric cancer often begins with precancerous cells that can take years to develop, often allowing them to advance without causing symptoms. More than 90 percent of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, which occur in the innermost layer of the stomach known as the mucosa.
According to the American Cancer Society, if the cancer is localized, meaning that it hasn’t spread outside the stomach, the five-year relative survival rate is 69 percent. If it’s regionalized, meaning it has spread to nearby body parts, the five-year relative survival rate is 31 percent. If the cancer has spread to distant sites, the five-year relative survival rate is 5 percent.
Sadly, because gastric cancer often develops without causing symptoms, only 1 in 5 U.S. cases of gastric cancer are detected in the early stages. The need for more research into innovative treatment options for gastric cancer patients has never been more clear.
Typical Symptoms of Gastric Cancer
pain & bloating
weight loss &
If you experience any of these symptoms, please see your physician. Don’t delay.
Gastric Cancer Risk Factors
Anyone can develop gastric cancer, but the following factors can increase an individuals risk:
People over the age of 55 are more likely to receive gastric cancer diagnosis.
Those with a family history of gastric cancer are at higher risk of developing it.
Men are at higher risk of developing the disease than women.
The bacteria, also known as H. pylori, has been linked to gastric cancer.
Higher consumption of salty or smoked foods and red meat can increase the risk of developing gastric cancer, while eating fresh fruits and vegetables can lower the risk.
Previous stomach surgeries can change the body’s production of stomach acids, potentially allowing carcinogenic bacteria to build up.
What Are the Gastric
Adenocarcinoma: More than 90 percent of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, which occur in the innermost layer of the stomach known as the mucosa.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST): Although rare, this cancer originates in the interstitial cells of Cajal, which are found in the stomach wall’s muscle layers.
Carcinoid tumor: These tumors begin in the stomach’s hormone-making cells and are less likely to spread than other forms of gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the world.
What Treatments Are Available?
Depending on an individual’s cancer stage and health, surgery can be an effective option to remove tumors and prevent spread.
Cancer patients may take chemotherapy drugs to kill the cancer cells and reduce the size of tumors. Chemo may be given ahead of surgery to shrink tumors.
Immunotherapy treatments stimulate or enhance a patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells.
These drugs target certain genes or proteins in cancer cells. Depending on a patient’s cancer, targeted therapies may be a promising treatment in addition to traditional chemo.
Radiation involves using high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. Like chemo, it is also often used before surgery to shrink tumors.