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Are You Experiencing Frequent Bloating? Get Screened For Stomach Cancer, Check Oncologist Advise | Health News


Jan 8, 2024


Bloating is a condition where a person’s stomach feels full and tight. In most cases, this is because of overeating or a sign of digestion problems and is caused by a buildup of gas in the stomach and intestines. However, if bloating continues or happens without an apparent reason, it might be a sign of a health issue, like inflammatory bowel disease, ascites, tuberculosis, and cancers of abdominal organs like stomach, intestine and ovaries.

In an interaction with Zee News English, Dr Upasna Saxena, Radiation Oncology Specialist, at HCG Cancer Centre Borivali shares the simple signs and indicators of stomach cancer that can be often mistaken as general symptoms.

Dr Upasna says, “While Bloating doesn’t always indicate cancer, it is an indicator to evaluate and find the cause of pathology.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. Dr Upasna shares signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

Frequent heartburn: Heartburn occurs when the stomach acid travels to the oesophagus. Although various factors can cause heartburn, it is generally recognizable by the intense burning feeling behind the breastbone and upper chest. It is associated with cancer/acidity/reflux/ulcer.

Persistent abdominal pain: A vague, unexplained, but chronic pain in the abdomen could be a sign of stomach cancer. If you have pain that does not go away in a few days or worsens at a specific time, it’s best to consult a doctor.

Other signs and symptoms of stomach cancer include feeling full after eating a small meal, indigestion, frequent burping, loss of appetite, and excessive fatigue. In the later stages, stomach cancer has evident signs that include blood in the stool, a lump at the top of the stomach, nausea and vomiting, swelling or fluid buildup in and around your abdomen, unexplained weight loss, and jaundice (a sign that cancer has reached the liver). 

When to Consult a Doctor or Oncologist?

Dr Upasna recommends, “Since stomach cancer is not common, it is not regularly screened, which is why cases are detected at a late stage. 

Additionally, since many symptoms of stomach cancer overlap with other conditions, it is best to consult a specialist so that cancer can be ruled out.”

How is Stomach Cancer Treated?

In most cases, treatment for stomach cancer varies from patient to patient, depending on the stage of cancer, their overall health condition, and treatment preferences. These include the following:

Upper endoscopy: This can be used to get a biopsy or to remove non-invasive lesions. Once diagnosed with cancer, a patient needs to undergo proper surgery.

Gastrectomy: Partial or total gastrectomy is the mainstay of the treatment of gastric cancer. This could be done either directly or after giving chemotherapy. Appropriate sequence of treatment is important to have better treatment outcomes. Post the surgery, the patient could require additional chemotherapy or radiotherapy depending on the reports and stage of disease.

Is stomach cancer preventable?

Although it is not possible to eliminate the risk factors associated with stomach cancer, specific steps can help lower the risk for this condition. 

Some lifestyle steps that can help in this direction include:

– Manage your body weight: Being overweight or suffering from obesity can substantially increase the risk of stomach cancer. 

– Eat a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables: Meals rich in essential nutrients, fibre, and vitamins help keep the body healthy and fight against many diseases. 

– Reduce intake of processed foods: Pickled vegetables, salted meats and fish, and grilled foods, when consumed regularly, can significantly increase the risk of stomach cancer. 

Good lifestyle habits like abstinence from smoking and alcohol can effectively help reduce the risk of stomach cancer. 


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