Stomach cancer is a deadly disease which is not so common as decades ago, but unfortunately, there are still more than 24 000 new cases in the USA every year. The survival rate is great (over 90%) if the disease is caught in the early stages. However, the symptoms of stomach cancer are often not noticeable until the cancer spreads. In advanced stages, the disease is not treatable, with the survival rate being only 3% over 5 years.
So, how can it be stopped if it doesn’t show any symptoms? The key is to learn the risk factors and learn how to recognize the early signs of stomach cancer. Sometimes the symptoms are mild that people ignore them, which often turns out to be a fatal mistake. Here are the early signs of stomach cancer according to the American Cancer Society:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Pain in the abdomen;
- Indigestion or heartburn;
- Diarrhea or constipation;
- Frequent bloating after meals;
- Weakness and fatigue;
- Loss of appetite;
- Blood in the stool.
Here are the main risk factors for stomach cancer:
- Gender – men are more prone to the disease;
- Age over 55;
- Alcohol abuse;
- Family history of stomach cancer;
- Diet rich in smoked, dried, salted and pickled foods;
- Presence of a bacteria called H. Pylori in the stomach.
If you recognize some of the symptoms or risk factors and you suspect you’re suffering from stomach cancer, you need to talk to your doctor immediately. He\she will probably refer you to a gastroenterologist, who will evaluate your condition further and will be able to tell you if there’s a problem.