Common treatments for gastric cancer

Remedies & Treatments

Common treatments for gastric cancer

Remedies & Treatments

Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, is where cancerous cells grow and multiply in the stomach lining. This condition is difficult to detect as symptoms do not occur in the initial stages. Moreover, when treatment is delayed or ignored, it can spread to several organs, such as the lungs, liver, and bones. Here, we discuss some treatments for gastric cancer. The options differ from person to person and usually depend on the stage and intensity of the disease.

Chemotherapy
In this method, high doses of medication are used to kill cancerous cells. Chemotherapy is usually administered after surgery to kill any harmful cells that have remained despite the procedure. Doctors may combine this treatment with targeted drug therapy or radiation therapy for people with advanced stomach cancer.

Radiation therapy
This treatment uses high-powered energy beams to destroy cancerous cells. Radiation therapy can also alleviate specific side effects, such as bleeding. It is sometimes used before surgery to clump the cancer cells and ease the procedure.

Immunotherapy
This method helps the patient’s immune system fight cancer. It uses high doses of medicine to interfere with procedures that usually allow cancer cells to grow unnoticed. When it comes to stomach cancer, immunotherapy is only used for advanced stages or when other treatments fail.

Targeted drug therapy
These therapies target specific genes or weaknesses that help the cancer cells survive and grow. They are usually combined with chemotherapy for serious stomach cancers. A doctor may test one’s cells to determine what kind of drugs are most suitable.

Surgery
Specialist doctors conduct surgery to remove parts of the body affected by cancer. Some standard procedures include:

  • Surgery for early-stage tumors
    In this method, early or small cancerous tissues are removed using tools passed through an endoscope. Some examples include endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (EMD).
  • Subtotal gastrectomy
    During this procedure, a surgeon removes the infected part of the stomach along with some healthy tissue, lymph nodes, and parts of other organs surrounding the cancerous portion.
  • Total gastrectomy
    Here, a person’s entire stomach is removed along with the surrounding lymph nodes. The esophagus is then connected to the small intestine so that the patient can continue eating.