Also known as gastric cancer, stomach cancer develops when a group of cells is accumulated into one large mass in a section of the stomach. Approximately 25,500 new diagnoses of stomach cancer occurs each year, representing about 2 percent of new cancer diagnoses annually. It is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, taking the lives of over 723,000 people in the United States.
If your loved one has any of the following risk factors, they have a higher chance of developing stomach cancer.
- Being over the age of 55
- Regularly eating salty foods, salty fish, pickled veggies, and smoked meats
- Eating foods that contain aflatoxin fungus
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Certain medical conditions, like GERD or stomach polyps
- Regularly smoking
- Being a male
- Previously having some form of cancer
- Certain surgical procedures, especially procedures that have taken place in the stomach
- Family history
If you or the elder’s caregiver notices any of the following symptoms, contact their doctor as soon as possible.
- The feeling of easily becoming full during meals
- Frequently burping
- Chronic indigestion
- Vomiting that may contain blood
- Trapped wind
- Pain in the stomach
- Feeling bloated after meals
- Trouble swallowing
If the stomach cancer becomes more advanced, the following symptoms may arise.
- Blackened or blood-streaked stools
- Buildup of fluid in the stomach, causing the stomach to feel lumpy
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
If the doctor suspects that stomach cancer is the cause of your loved one’s symptoms, then they may want to have a specialist perform one of the following diagnostic measures.
- Ultrasound scan: An ultrasound scan is often used if the doctor thinks the cancer is in the top part of the stomach.
- Barium meal X-ray: A barium-containing liquid is swallowed by the patient in order to help identify the stomach during an X-ray.
- Gastroscopic exam: The doctor will look in the elder’s stomach with a fiber optic camera. Tissue samples may be taken if they suspect stomach cancer.
- Laparoscopy: This procedure may be conducted if the doctor wants to find out if the cancer has spread. They will be placed under a general anesthetic, while a laparoscopy is inserted into a small incision in the lower part of the stomach.
- CT Scan or PET Scan: Radiographic pictures may be taken inside the body in order to find out how much the cancer has spread.
For senior care in Southern NJ and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.