Stomach Cancer Treatment in India
Stomach cancer or gastric cancer is a condition where the abnormal cells build up to form a mass inside a part of the stomach. The majority of people who are diagnosed with stomach cancer either have metastasis or eventually develop it. Metastasis is a process where cancer spreads from the area in which it first developed.
Stomach cancer usually develops slowly over many years. Cancer formation is preceded by pre-cancerous changes in the inner lining (mucosa) of the stomach. These early modifications rarely cause symptoms and thus often go undetected.
Cancers starting in different parts of the stomach may cause different symptoms and tend to have different outcomes. Therefore, the Stomach cancer treatment for all such different types is also usually different. Cancer’s site also affects the treatment options.
Like any other type of cancer, the Stomach cancer treatment also depends on how long you’ve had the tumor, the extent of its spread and the patient’s overall health.
1. Adenocarcinoma- Nearly 90 to 95 percent of the stomach cancers are adenocarcinoma. These cancers develop from the cells that form the innermost lining of the stomach.
2. Lymphoma- Lymphoma is a cancer of the immune system tissue that may start anywhere there are lymph tissues, including the stomach. This cancer is sometimes found on the walls of the stomach. Lymphomas in the stomach are very rare and account for only 4 percent of cancers.
3. Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)- The Gastrointestinal stromal tumor is a rare type of stomach cancer that starts in a special cell found in the lining of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal(ICC). The GIST cells look similar to the muscle or nerve cells. Some of these tumours are non-cancerous (benign), while others are cancerous. These tumors may develop through the digestive tract, although about 60 to 70 percent may develop in the stomach.
4. Carcinoid tumor- The carcinoid tumors typically start in the hormone-making cells of the stomach. In most of the cases, these tumors do not spread to other organs.
Besides these, there are other types of stomach cancer too like squamous cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and leiomyosarcoma, but these cancers are very rare.
Medical research still hasn’t been able to identify the exact causes of stomach cancer but there are certain factors that we do know can raise your risk for the disease. H pylori infection is one such factor that increases the risk of developing cancerous cells. Inflammation in the gut called gastritis or growth of polyps can also make you more likely to get cancer.
Other factors that seem to raise your risk for the disease include:
• Type-A blood
• Long-term stomach inflammation
• Pernicious anaemia
• Stomach polyps
• Epstein-Barr virus infection
• History of stomach cancer
• A diet high in smoked, or salty foods
• Stomach surgery for an ulcer
• Working in coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries
• Exposure to asbestos
There are many symptoms associated with stomach cancer. However, as they also exist in many other less serious conditions, this cancer may be difficult to recognize at first.
This is precisely the reason that diagnosis of stomach cancer is not easy. Most people with stomach cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is already at the last stage.
Early symptoms of stomach cancer may include:
• A sensation of being full during meals
• Swallowing difficulties, known as dysphagia
• Feeling bloated after meals
• Frequent burping
• Indigestion that does not go away
• Stomach ache, or pain in the breastbone
• Trapped wind
• Vomiting, which may contain blood
Stomach cancer treatment includes various options like surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiations, Targeted drugs etc. The one, you and your doctor select, will depend on the duration of your disease or how much has it spread in your body.
These are five stages of stomach cancer- Stage 0-IV
In Stage 0, also called carcinoma in situ, the tumor is found only in the inner layer of the stomach.
In Stage I, the tumor affects only the submucosa or the muscle layer or subserosa. Cancer cells could also be found in up to 6 lymph nodes.
In Stage II, the tumor either invades the submucosa or subserosa with cancer cells having spread to 7 to 15 lymph nodes. Or it in certain cases, the tumor might also penetrate the outer layer of the stomach.
Stage III is when, the tumor starts invading the nearby organs, like liver, colon, or spleen.
In Stage IV cancer cells usually spread to more than 15 lymph nodes or the cancer cells have spread to distant organs.
Surgery, as the primary stomach cancer treatment, gets rid of the tumor and stops cancerous cells from spreading to other parts of your body. The type of surgery you choose depends on how long you’ve had the disease or the location of cancer. The surgeon may surgically remove the whole stomach or only the part that has the cancerous cells.
You and your surgeon can talk about various types of surgery and which one may be right for you:
1. Partial (or subtotal) gastrectomy for tumors:
This is performed for the lower part of the stomach, the process involves the surgeon to remove the lower part of the stomach with cancer and attache the remaining part of the stomach to the intestine. This procedure of stomach cancer treatment in India may also involve removing nearby lymph nodes and other tissues.
2. Total gastrectomy for tumours
This is performed in the upper part of the stomach, whereby the surgeon removes the entire stomach, nearby lymph nodes, parts of the oesophagus and small intestine, and other tissues near a tumour. Rarely, the spleen also may be removed. The surgeon then connects the oesophagus directly to the small intestine.
The time taken for healing after surgery is different for each patient, and you may be in the hospital for a week or two depending on the severity of your condition. You may have pain for the first few days. Medicine can help control your pain. Before your stomach cancer treatment begins, you should discuss all the medications for pain relief with your doctor or nurse. Post-surgery, your doctor can adjust the plan depending on your body's response and if you need more pain relief.
Many people who have stomach cancer treatment feel too tired or weak for a while. Your doctors will watch for signs of bleeding, infection, or other problems that may require immediate attention.
The surgery for stomach cancer can also cause constipation or diarrhoea. These symptoms or side-effects can usually be controlled with diet changes and medicine.
Chemotherapy is the second option for Stomach cancer treatment in India that uses medicines to kill cancer cells. Usually, one or more chemotherapy drugs may be given intravenously or orally. A combination of drugs is given in a series of treatment cycles with breaks in between so that you can recover.
The process of chemotherapy helps sterilize microscopic diseases after surgery. It may also slow tumor growth and relieve symptoms in patients who cannot have surgery. Chemotherapy, as a Stomach cancer treatment in India, is also used before surgery to shrink cancer and make it easier to remove.
For people with advanced stomach cancer, this therapy could be used to relieve pain and other symptoms.
Radiation therapy or radiotherapy uses high-energy beams such as X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells. For patients having locally advanced stomach cancer, radiation therapy may be used before and after surgery. It's often combined with chemotherapy treatments. If surgery isn't an option for you, combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be your primary stomach cancer treatment in India.
Targeted drugs are different from Chemotherapy because they fight only cancer cells. Unlike chemo and radiation therapy, it doesn't kill healthy cells along with diseased ones. As a result, targeted therapies are more effective and have fewer side effects than the other stomach cancer treatment.
Your team of doctors will describe and detail out your treatment choices, the expected results, and the possible side effects or complications. Because cancer treatments often damages healthy cells along with the cancerous ones, side effects are quite common. Before starting on the treatment, ask your doctors about possible side effects, and how to prevent or reduce these effects.
How to prevent stomach cancer
As we earlier said, the main reason which causes gastroesophageal junction or stomach cancer is not known. But one can surely take steps to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by making small changes in one's daily life. For example, try to:
1. Exercise- Regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer. Try to fit physical activity into your day most days of the week.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables- Try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet each day.
3. Reduce the amount of pickled, salty and smoked foods in your diet- Protect your stomach by limiting these foods.
4. Stop smoking- If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases your risk of stomach cancer to a great extent, as well as many other types of cancer.
When we look at the cost of stomach cancer treatment in India, it comes out to be a fraction of what cancer treatments cost in western countries like the US, UK, Germany or other European countries.
Stomach cancer treatment can involve either surgery alone or a combination of surgery and chemotherapy or chemotherapy and radiation. Indian hospitals for stomach cancer treatment are ranked among the world’s best because of factors like reputation, survival-rate, patient safety and care-related factors. These hospitals with some of the best oncologists in India and the world underscore a long-standing commitment to providing the highest-quality care that best meets their patients’ needs.
The stomach cancer treatment cost in India starts from USD 5,800 which is 70 percent less than the treatment cost in other medical hubs across the world. The top oncologists and stomach cancer specialists in India are trained at the best medical schools and have wide experience in handling various kinds of stomach cancer treatment in India. Choosing the best and widely experienced oncologist ensures minimum complications after cancer treatments and much less stress for the patient and the family.
India is widely known for providing best stomach cancer treatment, and medical care for international patients beyond borders. The best hospitals for stomach cancer treatment in India combine personalized cancer treatment with leading-edge research and technology to provide you with unparalleled cancer care.
Private healthcare hospitals in India are world renowned for their quality of health care and economical pricing. Certain stomach cancer hospitals go even a step ahead to assist their international patients. Some of these names include Max Healthcare, Manipal Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, BLK, Rockland, Spectra, Artemis, Medanta, Metro Hospitals, Columbia Asia, Nanavati hospital etc. These hospitals feature some of the most innovative stomach cancer treatment technology used anywhere in the world staffed by the best doctors, nurses and other support staff who are all specialized at providing most time-effective and cost-effective stomach cancer treatment in India.
Medmonks- Your helping hand
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top Stomach Cancer Specialist in India
Dr Rajeev Agarwal
Dr. Rajeev Agarwal is currently associated with Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram, India as a Director in the Surgical Oncology department.
He has completed his MBBS as well as MS from GSVM MeView Details
Dr Bhawana Awasthy
A Senior Consultant at the department of Medical Oncology in Fortis Hospital, Dr Bhawana Awasthy has over 2 decades of experience in her field. Her area of expertise liesView Details
Dr Nitin Sood
Dr. Nitin Soodis currently associated with Medanta-The Medicity, Gurugram as an Associate Director in Haematology Department.
He has completed his MBBSfrom Mysore University, MD from UniverView Details