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Article Archive >> Good Health

21,000 people diagnosed with stomach cancer

21,000 people diagnosed with stomach cancer
Do you know the signs and symptoms?

(NAPSI)-There are many types of cancer, but some are more known than others. Approximately 21,000 Americans will be diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2010, and it remains a serious and life-threatening disease. Furthermore, the incidence of cancer in the area where the esophagus and stomach join (gastroesophageal junction) continues to increase. Understanding the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can help people be proactive about their health and talk to their doctor.
The most common type of stomach cancer, called adenocarcinoma, originates in the innermost lining of the stomach and accounts for more than 90 percent of tumors in this area. In metastatic stomach cancer, the cancer has spread beyond the wall of the stomach and into nearby organs. This makes the cancer harder to treat and results in a poorer outcome.
"Depending on the characteristics of the tumor, treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy," said oncologist Dr. Mary Mulcahy, of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Testing a tumor for its genetic makeup can play a major role in deciding which medicine may be best for a person and may ultimately impact their survival."
There are many variables in determining the cause of stomach cancer. Ethnicity, heredity, geography, diet, tobacco use, obesity, previous stomach surgery or bacterial infections caused by an organism often associated with ulcers (Helicobacter pylori) may all play a role in stomach cancer.
"Many people have no symptoms until the disease has advanced into late stages," said Dr. Mulcahy. "It is important people understand the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer so they are diagnosed early, when the disease is likely to be more treatable."
Additional information on stomach cancer is available at www.cancer.org.

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