Nowadays, stomach cancer accounts for ¼ of the conditions plaguing the human health. The United States records say that every year, around 24,000 individuals are stricken down by stomach cancer. If it is tracked in time, it’s said that the survival rate is 90% within the first five years. If it is not, however… the story becomes much more unfortunate.
The Silent Killer
In the case of stomach cancer, before the symptoms start making themselves known, the disease will first go through the stomach and the other vital organs. Once it has reached such an advanced stage, you can’t treat the disease anymore – it will have spread too far out. At that point, the survival rate within the first five years will only be 3%. So, the question stands: how do we kill this cancer before it kills us? The recommendation would be to make yourself acquainted with the stomach cancer symptoms. Generally, they are pretty difficult to detect, simply because they are mild discomfort sensations. A normal person would discard them as “having eaten something bad” or “I just need to get some rest.” But there are times when these ‘mild’ symptoms want to raise the alarm for something bigger.
After various studies, the American Cancer Society managed to narrow down a few of the symptoms associated with stomach cancer. These symptoms are:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Sensation of nausea and vomiting
- Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Fatigue and an overall feeling of weakness
- Loss of appetite
- A feeling of bloating after a meal
- Bleedings (blood in the stool or vomiting blood)
There are also times when stomach cancer is ‘picky’ about whom to plague. Some factors determine whether or not you are more susceptible to stomach cancer than other people. Here are the main elements that influence the risk of developing this type of:
- Gender: it has been discovered that men are 33% more likely than women to develop stomach cancer.
- Age: people over the age of 55 are more likely to see symptoms.
- Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking may make you more likely to develop stomach cancer.
- If your diet is comprised mostly of foods that are salted, dried, smoked or pickled, you will find yourself at a higher risk.
- Previous stomach surgery will make you more susceptible to stomach cancer.
- If you have the Helicobacter pylori in your stomach, you may develop ulcers which can further on lead to cancer.
- If you have a family history of stomach cancer, you may also be exposed to this type of cancer.
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms or think you are a risk for developing stomach cancer, you may want to consult your doctor. They will, in return, refer you to a gastroenterologist (a doctor specializing in stomach disorders) for further check-ups. The sooner you get yourself checked, the faster you will get some peace of mind