- Early stage cancer patients may not display symptoms, with the cancer instead being detected during a doctor’s appointment in relation to chronic bloating or indigestion or at an annual health checkup. Early stage cancer can be treated with endoscopic which removes the abnormal tissue from the stomach, carrying with it a high chance of success.
- Patients with cancer in its growth stage, when the disease has not yet spread to other organs, will usually be treated with surgery involving removal of the cancer and nearby lymph nodes. This form of treatment may also require a course of chemotherapy.
- Cancer which has already spread to nearby organs, such as the abdominal wall tissue, would previously have been untreatable. However, chemotherapy alongside heat treatment is currently used with HIPEC surgery, which is the process of heating chemotherapy drugs and delivering them into the abdominal cavity, thereby giving patients a better chance of survival than ever before.
- Late-stage cancer or cancer that has spread to other organs, including the lungs and liver, cannot be successfully treated with surgery or medication. Medical staff will therefore consider chemotherapy in order to manage the disease and reduce its symptoms.
Stomach cancer can currently be treated with both open surgery or laparoscopic surgery, which today is the preferred method of treatment for early stage cancer or cases where the cancer is still minimal. Laparoscopic surgery also enables patients to make a fast recovery due to the minimal scarring left. Overall treatment times in hospital are reduced, although such a procedure must be carried out by highly skilled surgeons with experience in performing laparoscopic surgery.
Doctors may also consider chemotherapy alongside surgical treatment for stomach cancer as this can reduce the likelihood of cancer recurrence as well as reduce the risk of the cancer spreading to other organs. However, chemotherapy carries with it the risk of numerous side effects, including nausea, vomiting and exhaustion, meaning patients undergoing such treatment should get enough rest, eat foods that are easily digestible, drink plenty of water and try to keep a positive frame of mind, avoiding stressful or anxiety inducing situations. Crucially, any treatment should be closely monitored, meaning patients must keep all their doctor’s appointments.