Cancers of stomach, intestine & liver
What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells in the stomach. Stomach cancers develop gradually over a long period of time. Pre-cancerous changes take place in the inner lining of the stomach before it develops into true cancer, but these changes often go unnoticed.
Types of stomach cancer
- Adenocarcinomas- this constitutes about 90 to 95% of stomach cancers. They develop from the gland cells in the mucosa(inner lining) of the stomach.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (gists) – these tumors are uncommon and start in the early form of cells in the wall of the stomach. Some gists spread and grow in the other parts of the body as well.
- Neuroendocrine tumors – neuroendocrine tumors start in the stomach cells. They act like nerve cells in some ways and endocrine cells in other ways. Most of these tend to grow slowly and do not spread to other parts.
- Lymphomas – this type of cancer starts in the immune system cells called lymphocytes. Lymphomas usually begin in other parts of the body but some may originate in the stomach.
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Weight loss
- Decreased appetite
What causes stomach cancer?
Although the exact cause of stomach cancer is still not known, one reason may be the infection caused by bacteria, h. Pylori. Gastritis and polyps may also cause stomach cancer if not treated well in time.
What is intestine cancer?
Intestine cancer is quite uncommon but not unknown. The different types of intestine cancers are:
- Neuroendocrine tumors
What are the symptoms of the cancer of the intestine?
- Abdominal pain
- Yellow skin
- Height loss
- Blood in stools
- Skin flushing
- Watery diarrhea (small intestine)
- Constipation (large intestine)
What is liver cancer?
Liver cancer begins in the cells of the liver when they begin to grow abnormally. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the mostcommon type of liver cancer. Others such as cholangiocarcinoma are not as common.
What are the symptoms of liver cancer?
- Abdominal swelling
- Pain and vomiting
- Weight loss
- Liver cirrhosis
- Fatigue and weakness
- Yellow discoloration of the skin
- White, chalky stools
- Loss of appetite
- Causes : hepatitis b, hepatitis c (viral treated)
Diagnosis and treatment:
Cancer of the stomach, intestine, and liver may be diagnosed with the help of specific blood tests, ct-scan, upper and lower endoscopy, and biopsy. Liver cancer can be treated by hepatectomy or liver transplantation, depending on the stage of the cancer. Stomach and intestine cancer also requires surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy along with other procedures specific to the patient.