Stomach cancer or gastric cancer is a condition in which there is a growth of cancerous cells that develop in the stomach’s lining. It can lead to the growth and formation of cancer cells in the stomach as the disease gradually grows over the years. While there is no exact cause that is known to make the cancer cells grow in this part of the body, there are some risk factors that have been identified. The inflammation in the gut known as gastritis, pernicious anemia and abnormal growth in the stomach known as polyps can make an individual more susceptible to the condition.
The kind of cancer is not reported to be very common when compared with other kinds of cancers and can be extremely difficult to diagnose. There is a risk of the condition going undiagnosed for a long time as it does not exhibit clear symptoms in the early stage. Therefore, it is all the more essential to be wary of certain early signs and have them medically checked in advance to reduce the risk of further development.
- Blood in the stool – The appearance of blood in the stool can be a major sign associated with several other conditions, however, it can also indicate stomach cancer. Cancer causes the lining of the stomach to get inflamed and this, in turn, leads to the blood being passed through the stools. This symptom of stomach cancer is most likely to be experienced in the advanced stages of the disease. However, in some cases, it does show up in the early stage.
- Incessant abdominal pain – Occasional abdominal pain is quite normal and, in most cases, it may be a result of a minor stomach infection. The abdominal pain related to stomach cancer is usually epigastric pain that can be felt in the area below the rib cage. The pain is a result of the growth in cancer cells that forms a tumor and deposits somewhere in the stomach. Again, this can be caused by other minor conditions. However, it is essential that persistent pain in the abdomen is brought to the notice of the doctor.
- Loss of appetite – There is an extreme loss in appetite. This is a special cause of concern for people who suddenly exhibit difficulty in consuming the amount of food that they otherwise would with ease. Sometimes, there may be ulcers in the stomach can lead to loss of appetite. However, even ulcers can trigger the onset of cancer and this makes it important to rule out the same.
- Inability to swallow – Stomach acids can enter the esophagus and this leads to an issue known as dysphagia. One finds it difficult to swallow food and food particles get stuck in the throat. There may be a sense of choking or coughing that is followed by vomiting. Swallowing food normally is an important function of the human body and this disruption must be evaluated.
- Sudden weight loss – Weight loss is one of the symptoms of stomach cancer caused due to the loss in appetite. It can also be an independent sigh that may be noticed in the beginning. The sudden loss of weight is usually one of the first signs that can point towards something being amiss.