Stomach Cancer Symptoms – Spotting Them Early
Cancer has caused an average of 8 million deaths back in 2008. Stomach cancer is responsible for 740,000 of them. That is how serious this condition is. However, the good news is that there has been a marked decline in deaths since then. Doctors and researchers owe that to the simple task of spotting symptoms of stomach cancer early. There is a huge difference between treating patients with stage 3 or stage 4 stomach cancer as compared to those that have been diagnosed to be in stage 1 or stage 2.
Spotting the symptoms of stomach cancer can be somewhat tricky. You see, all gastrointestinal diseases seem to have the same manifestations: nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, etc. The key to spotting stomach cancer early will be to consult with your physician as soon as you feel something is wrong, and most especially if you exhibit any or all of the following:
• Bloody stools – these are great indicators that there is something wrong with your gastrointestinal system. If you observe fresh blood after you use a tissue paper, this could be caused by something near your anus like hemorrhoids or polyps. It could be that they were damaged because you might be experiencing constipation. If you observe black, tarry stools, you’d expect bleeding somewhere in your intestines. The unusual color of your stools may have been caused by dried blood. It is always recommended that you submit yourself to a fecal occult blood exam just to make sure.
• Pain in the abdomen – this pain could be caused by the growth of a tumor in your stomach. Usually with stomach cancer, the pain is somewhere near the upper part of your stomach and can either be persistent or intermittent.
• Nausea and vomiting – N&V are symptoms that you can find in almost any disease not just in digestive system disorders. The reason that it is on this list is because nausea and vomiting, as related to stomach cancer, might also be caused by tumor growth. Persistent nausea and vomiting can also cause trauma to your esophagus.
• Anorexia – also known as loss of appetite. Not being hungry for a day to two might be considered normal, but if it persists for more than that, it could be a serious problem. Take note that anorexia, or loss of appetite, is not a telltale sign of cancer alone. It could also be an indicator of other diseases.
• Unintended weight loss – now, a lot of people have been wondering just why a patient with cancer seems to tend to lose weight even without trying. The answer to that is simple. The cancer cells take in the nutrients that are really meant for the body. In essence, they are the ones getting healthier while the body suffers.
Basing conclusions on these symptoms alone is not enough to make a cancer diagnosis. A lot of laboratory testing will have to be done to form a conclusion. However, reporting the symptoms early will greatly help in the prognosis of the disease.