Thursday, May 25, 2017 20:20

Stomach Cancer Treatment

Posted by on Thursday, August 27, 2009, 15:35
This news item was posted in Cancer category and has 0 Comments so far.

The age standardised mortality from stomach cancer in the USA has decreased by 75 % since 1930. There is circumstantial evidence that this welcome decrease reflects the increased use of the domestic refrigerators and the decreased reliance on nitrates to preserve bacon and other meat foods.

Nitrates react in the acid environment of the stomach with the contents of many foods to form highly carcinogenic nitrosamines, which act on their first contact, the stomach lining. The removal of nitrates from foods reduces this danger. It is also well established that vitamin c prevents nitrosamine formation, and it is reasonable to assume that the trend towards an increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C is also responsible for the downturn in the incidence of stomach cancer.

The mortality from stomach cancer in Japan is the highest in the world, being eight times that in USA. This high value is partially related to nitrates, but mare so to a heavy nutritional decency upon smoked and broiled foods, which are rich in carcinogenic hydrocarbons, and to the widespread consumption of a prized national delicacy, bracken fern.

Other etiological factors operating in stomach cancer are some apparently strong genetic influences a history of close relatives with this form of cancer an added risk, although common familial nutritional patterns may be at work there. Another predisposing factor is a preceding history of strophic gastritis, which often makes itself known years before the appearance of the tumor by the development of pernicious anemia.

The characteristic symptoms of stomach cancer are an abrupt loss of appetite, such that even the very sight of food is nauseating, progressive anemia from gastric blood loss, increasing lassitude out of proportion to the degree of anemia, difficulty in swallowing if the tumor is in high stomach, obstructive vomiting if the tumor is in the low stomach, and, almost invariably, sharp weight loss. The tumor can sometime to palpated through the relaxed abdominal wall.

The diagnosis is confirmed by an x-ray examination following a barium compound meal that outlines the stomach and permits examination of its contour for tumor irregularity and differences in motility, and if necessary by gastroscopy, the swallowing of a flexible fiberoptic telescope that enables the physician to inspect the interior of the empty stomach.

Gastric cancers are almost always carcinomas, but occasional myosarcomas occur, with a slightly better prognosis. Bothetypes of tumor spread primarily to the regional lymph nodes, which can be surgically removed, and thence to the liver whence, unless in the very exceptional circumstances of a solitary operable metastasis, they cannot removed, and the situation is incurable.

In the present stage of our knowledge surgery provides the best chance of control by conventional methods. Radiotherapy has nothing to offer in this situation, and although chemotherapy is frequently used, there is very real doubt whether it is any value. On the other hand, there is some evidence, that acerbate therapy offers significant promise of value for control of this form of cancer.

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