Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer. As the name suggest the cancer begins to develop in the stomach. The stomach can be divided in five different layers and cancer can develop in any of these. Mucosa is the most innermost layer. The stomach acid and the digestive juices are made in this layer. The next layer is the sub-mucosa. This is surrounded by the muscularis. This is a layer of muscle where it moves and mixes the stomach contents. The next two layers are the subserosa and the serosa. They wrap the stomach with serosa being the outermost layer.
Most stomach cancer begins in the mucosa. As like most cancers, stomach cancers grow slowly over many years. If left untreated the cancer can grow deeper and infect the other layers. The deeper it goes the chances of a cure minimizes. It is very hard to detect stomach cancer during the early stages, because the symptoms often come and go unnoticed. As cancer progress changes begin to occur in the lining. Symptoms like the following will occur:
- Lack of appetite follow with unintended weight loss
- Weakness and fatigue
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Hazy discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel
- A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen, just below the chest bone after eating a small meal. Doctors call this early satiety.
- Heartburn, indigestion, or ulcer-type symptoms
- Vomiting, with or without blood
- Swelling of the abdomen due to accumulation of fluid and cancer cells.
If you experience any of the above stomach cancer symptoms it is advised that you see your healthcare provider for a more thorough check so the proper diagnose and treatment can be apply.