Gastric (Stomach) Cancer in Indianapolis, IN
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What is gastric cancer?
Gastric cancer (also called stomach cancer) is a form of cancer that may evolve from cells on the stomach's inner lining. Cancer is the rampant growth of unusual cells. When these cells accumulate together, they create a mass of tissue known as a tumor. Cancer may develop in any portion of the stomach. Gastric cancers come in various types contingent on which cells they evolve from, including immunological cells, cells along the inner wall of the stomach, or hormone-creating cells. Stomach cancer may also spread to other parts of the body, starting with the lymph nodes and then throughout the lymphatic system. In its advanced stages, it could spread to major portions of the anatomy, including the bones, liver, and lungs. If you have been diagnosed with gastric cancer or believe you may have it, reach out to the expert gastrointestinal providers at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Who is at risk for developing gastric cancer?
It's not known exactly what causes gastric cancer, but there are some known factors that could elevate your risk of developing the condition. Some of these factors are:
- Gastric cancer in your family history
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Using tobacco products
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- A diet high in sodium
If you meet any of these criteria and believe you may be showing signs of stomach cancer, we strongly urge you to request a consultation with a provider at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology to talk about cancer screening and prevention.
What are the treatment strategies for gastric cancer?
Treatment for stomach cancer will depend on what kind of cancer has developed and how far along it's progressed. Your gastroenterologist in Indianapolis, IN will also take into consideration your age and overall well-being when developing a course of treatment. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are all frequently used in cancer treatment, with surgery being especially common for stomach cancer. There are three kinds of surgery employed to treat gastric cancer; the procedure your GI specialist picks will depend on where your cancer is located and how much the cancer cells have grown in the stomach. The three procedures are:
- Total gastrectomy: The entire stomach is excised along with nearby lymph nodes. The small intestine is then reshaped and attached to the esophagus. This procedure is typically only carried out when cancer cells have taken over the whole stomach. If the cancer has spread to adjacent organs, those may also need to be removed.
- Subtotal gastrectomy: Part of the stomach is taken out (along with some of the esophagus and nearby lymph nodes, if necessary). This procedure is usually performed when the cancer is localized to a portion of the stomach and has not spread too much. The remainder of the stomach is reattached to conclude the surgery.
- Endoscopic mucosal resection: This procedure may be performed if the cancer has been detected early on (before it has a chance to spread). This method uses an endoscope (a pliable tube with a camera attached) to excise cancerous tissues. The endoscope is guided through the mouth and esophagus, so no incisions to the skin are necessary.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used after the surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells and lower the chance of the cancer returning.
Please be aware that surgical procedures to treat gastric cancer all carry some risk, including bleeding, blood clots, and potential damage to adjacent organs. You might also experience vitamin deficiencies, heartburn, and pain in the abdomen (often after eating).
It is crucial to follow up with your gastroenterologist as recommended so they can monitor your digestive health and watch for signs that your gastric cancer is recurring. If they do notice something concerning, they will recommend specific tests for further evaluation. If the upper portion of your stomach was removed in the surgery, your doctor will want to watch your vitamin B12 levels and provide injections if necessary. They might also refer you to a nutritionist to help you shape your diet following your procedure.
Experienced care for gastric cancer
A diagnosis of gastric cancer can be distressing. The gastrointestinal providers at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology will work with you to guide you through your treatment. If you are dealing with alarming signs in your GI tract or believe you have a heightened risk, reach out to our specialists to learn more about treatment for gastric cancer in Indianapolis, IN.
I have had Crohn’s disease for about 22 years and have always struggled to find a GI doctor that I trust and I feel really hears my concerns and needs. The very first time I met Dr. Morelli he has super friendly, inquisitive, made small talk (yay bedside manner!), asked lots of questions about my past treatment, and already began to brainstorm a treatment plan and other possibilities for symptoms. I left feeling confident and at ease that I have found a GI doctor that I can FINALLY trust and feel happy with.
Everyone was professional and polite. Great experience. Would definitely recommend this office.
I appreciate Dr Cheng’s extensive knowledge and his ability to communicate clearly. His staff at the endoscopy center were kind, caring, and competent.
I love this group of professionals. Stephanie Scalf is very thorough and writes instructions for me. She’s very easy to talk with and takes the time you need for exams etc.
Dr. Coal was very kind, caring and professional. She listened well.