The mucosa is the mucous layer of the stomach where stomach cancer develops. Stomach cancer or gastric cancer is a result of the buildup of abnormal cells in the mucus layer of the stomach. These cells divide exponentially to increase in number. As a result, many types of stomach cancer seem to develop over a period of time.
Rates of stomach cancer in the abdominal area are decreasing over the past few years. However, cancer is developing more in the gastroesophageal junction which lies between the cardia and esophagus.
1. Causes of stomach cancer
Generally, a mutation in the gene causes cancer cells to develop in a certain part of the body. The mutation helps the cells to grow exponentially which eventually forms tumors. Once the tumor becomes malignant, it starts spreading to other parts of the body. Thus, the main cause of cancer is gene mutation.
Another cause of stomach cancer can be related to excessive smoking and the consumption of a diet rich in fats and salty food. Pollution also plays a role in inducing cancers in the human body.
2. Symptoms of stomach cancer
The symptoms vary depending on the types of stomach cancer. The signs and symptoms also depend on the severity of the disease. However, a few early signs of this disease are:
- Feeling full
Stomach cancer patients experience a sense of “fullness” in their upper abdomen after having small meals.
Heartburn or indigestion may be a symptom of a stomach tumor.
- Vomiting and nausea
Patients experience symptoms of nausea and vomiting which contains blood.
- Weight loss
Many patients lose weight rapidly due to the weakening of the immune system.
- Chronic abdominal pain
Abdominal pain and discomfort are common in cancer patients. They have a swollen stomach that remains filled with the tumor and pus.
Other symptoms and signs include constipation, diarrhea, a sense of food getting stuck in the throat, among others. One needs to be aware of the symptoms of stomach. This will help to diagnose the type of stomach cancer.
3. Types of stomach cancer
Stomach cancers develop due to many reasons and are fatal. The different types of stomach cancer are as follows:
Cancer which affects the immune system is lymphoma. This is a rare type and accounts for only 4 percent of all stomach cancers. The cancer spreads through the lymph tissue of the body including the stomach.
This cancer develops in the inner lining of the stomach and originates in the glandular tissue of the organ. This is the most common type among the various types of stomach cancer.
- Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors
GISTs or Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors are a very rare kind of stomach cancer that develops in the interstitial cells of the stomach. This cancer develops due to tumors in the digestive tract.
- Carcinoid tumors
The carcinoid tumors generally occur in the endocrine cells of the stomach. These tumors do not spread to any other organs of the body. They account for only 3 percent of all types of stomach cancer.